Youth Ministry

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The Salesian Oratory

Guidelines and Wisdom

from the global Salesian sharing


For download: Oratory-Youth Center 2023 guidelines.pdf


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Don Bosco’s simple Hail Mary that started the Oratory continues to bear fruit:

The new document on the Oratory - Salesian Youth Centre.


Don Bosco himself, in his Memoirs of the Oratory, tells how the Oratory began on 8 December 1841: "with a simple Hail Mary". Since then, for the Salesians, the celebration of the Immaculate Conception and the commemoration of the beginning of the Salesian Oratory are inseparable. However, it was not a formal beginning, an opening of buildings or the start of work programs, but the implementation of what we know today as the “Oratory style/criteria”: an educational and evangelising encounter between Don Bosco and a poor youngster, responding to his concrete needs and supporting him fully through the “methodology” of friendship. All this was the beginning of what Don Bosco himself could not imagine at the time: the Salesian Oratory.


Don Bosco’s Hail Mary marks the origin of a dynamic that gradually gave impetus to all the educative and pastoral proposals and expressions that the young people of his time needed. Thus, the Oratory style then shaped, and today continues to shape every Salesian work and presence around the world.


In fact, after 182 years, the same “simple Hail Mary” and the same Oratory style/criterion continue to give energy and identity to the Salesian charism, which also implies continuous reflection and constant updating, not only because the works and the Salesian presence are a faithful expression of what Don Bosco began, but also because we continue to be faithful to him, responding to the new and current needs of young people.


For this reason, on this day of 8 December 2023, the Salesian Youth Ministry Sector presents a new updated reflection on the Salesian Youth Oratory-Centre (2023). It is a document that, starting from the Youth Ministry Frame of Reference (2014), is renewed and updated taking into account the new contexts and new circumstances of the Salesian Congregation and young people.


We intend to offer a broad and up-to-date understanding of the Youth Oratory-Centre. We want to help confirm, renew and revitalise the novelty of the Youth Oratory-Centre, rooted in our charismatic memory, and to make its educative and evangelising potential current.


The document is the result of a year-long process of dialogue, listening and consultation with all the Provinces, which has aroused a growing interest in the relaunch and re-evaluation of the works specifically identified as the Oratory-Youth Centre, but also for the relaunch and re-evaluation of the oratorian originality of each work and Salesian presence.


The document is structured in four parts which respond to the what, who, why and how of the Salesian Youth Oratory-Youth Centre, that is, to the originality of the Salesian Oratory, to its educative and pastoral community, its educative and pastoral proposal and, finally, to its organic pastoral animation.


The content of the text was presented at the regional meetings of the provincial delegates of youth ministry in October and November. The delegates appreciated the relevance of the reflection for today, given that in some Provinces the reactivation of the Oratory-Youth Centre is becoming necessary as a concrete way of dealing with the new frontiers/peripheries of young people's lives.


The text is available in PDF, editable in 5 languages, at the same time as the version for Provinces which can be printed. The document is accompanied by a PPT for presentation and wider dissemination.


Fr Francisco Cervantes, a member of the Youth Ministry Sector, accompanies this environment and also deals with the processes of formation and accompaniment of young leaders.


On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, like Don Bosco, with a simple Hail Mary, we entrust to our Lord Jesus Christ and to our Mother many young people who urgently need the educative and pastoral dynamics of a Salesian Oratory-Youth Centre, and we offer this document to enlighten the reflection and practices that we already have, but also to encourage new and creative proposals.


Content of the guidelines

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List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date Views
104 Educating Like Don Bosco (Carlo de Ambrogio) file vaclav 2024.04.30 48
103 Youth Ministry Education to Love - Itineraries file vaclav 2024.04.30 16
102 Salesian Ministry for the Youth at Risk-Marginalized file vaclav 2024.04.29 27
101 Flash 5: First Proclamation in Youth Ministry file vaclav 2023.12.20 116
» Salesian Oratory and Youth Center (2023 Guidelines) file vaclav 2023.12.09 130
99 Season of Creation 2023 file vaclav 2023.08.12 283
98 Laudato Si Week 2023 - The Letter and Don Bosco Green Alliance file vaclav 2023.05.19 347
97 Flash 1-4: Youth Ministry Animation 2022-2023 file vaclav 2023.05.16 446
96 Vocation Animation 2023 file vaclav 2023.04.20 458
95 Youth models - young Salesian saints file vaclav 2023.03.29 426
94 WYD 2023 Lisbon and SYM file vaclav 2023.03.13 433
93 Salesian Pedagogy (1888-2018) by Michal Vojtas file vaclav 2023.02.16 281
92 FIN - Resource book for the Young published 2023 file vaclav 2023.01.22 316
91 Salesian Social Work World Congress 2022 (2) file vaclav 2022.12.20 327
90 Salesian Vocational Guidance - Acts 438 (2022) file vaclav 2022.12.04 390
89 Project related virtues (SEPP) Prof Vojtas-UPS file vaclav 2022.11.15 1193
88 Salesian Youth Movement - presentation file vaclav 2022.11.14 2047
87 Salesian 'Integral Ecology' Positioning Paper 2022 file vaclav 2022.09.08 2069
86 Laudato Si Movement Prayer Book file vaclav 2022.08.06 2201
85 Australia-Youth Off the Streets file vaclav 2022.08.03 1406
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