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The Centre for Optimism

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The Salesians and Optimism

Understanding and recognising the Salesian charism involves an understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to Don Bosco for the mission of promoting the integral growth of the young, especially, those who are poor and needy.

It is through Don Bosco that the Holy Spirit instills with the same gifts the people who are called to share the same mission of Don Bosco.

These gifts came to be known and experienced in Valdocco founded by Don Bosco and his youth.

The expressions of these gifts are: love, joy, optimism, creativity, flexibility, duty, family spirit, religion … of which all can be named, for simplicity’s sake, under the term "preventive system".


From the website of The Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco

Understanding and recognizing the Salesian charism involves understanding and recognizing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given to Don Bosco for the mission of educating and promoting the young.

Still today, the Holy Spirit continues to instill these gifts in those who are called to share in the mission of St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello.

The expression of these gifts are: Eucharist & Confession, devotion to Our Lady, fidelity to the Pope, pastoral charity, joy and optimism, work, and community. Each of these elements is crucial to living out our Salesian Charism, and each of them are etched in the heart of every Salesian Sister. Don Bosco set these down for us, and still today, we hold fast to his method, and his plan.

by Helen Keller

John Bosco, the benefactor of the poor and the friendless of Italian cities, was another optimist, another prophet who, perceiving a Divine Idea while it was yet afar, proclaimed it to his countrymen. Although they laughed at his vision and called him a madman, yet he worked on patiently, and with the labor of his hands he maintained a home for little street waifs. In the fervor of enthusiasm he predicted the wonderful movement which should result from his work. Even in the days before he had money or patronage, he drew glowing pictures of the splendid system of schools and hospitals which should spread from one end of Italy to the other, and he lived to see the organization of the San Salvador Society, which was the embodiment of his prophetic optimism. 

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