LEARN ABOUT US!
- WHY “SALESIAN”: St. John Bosco wanted his priests, Brothers, and Sisters to imitate the kind and gentle ways of St. Francis de Sales in community life and in mission.
- OUR FOUNDERS: By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and guidance of Mother Mary, St. John Bosco worked with St. Mary Mazzarello to found the Salesian Sisters in 1872 in Italy. In 2022, we celebrate 150 years of God’s Providence and life of our charism!
- MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS: Don Bosco said, “Our Lady wants us to honor her under the title Mary, Help of Christians. Times are so bad that we need Our Lady to help us to be faithful and defend our beliefs.” This title for the Blessed Mother dates to 1571 and Pope Pius V.
- F.M.A…: These initials are on our crucifix. In Latin: Filiae Mariae Auxilium Christianorum. In English: Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. It is the official Institute name of the Salesian Sisters who were founded to be “a living monument of gratitude” to Mary Help of Christians.
- WHERE WE ARE: Today, our congregation numbers over 11,200 Sisters in 97 countries on every inhabited continent. The Salesian Sisters are organized into provinces based upon region. There are about 80 provinces, with two in North America: Eastern and Western. The Eastern Province is called St. Joseph Province and has 16 convents currently in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Surrey B.C., Montréal, Cornwall, and Toronto.
- MISSION: Jesus and the young person, especially the poor and most at risk, are at the heart of our mission. Together with lay collaborators, we are dedicated to the education and evangelization of young people and their families through schools, camps, retreats, catechesis, youth and young adult parish ministries, oratories, and after- school programs. In other countries, Salesian Sisters also serve the young and their families in universities, medical clinics, orphanages, resident schools, and many other works.
- OUR MOTTO: Da Mihi Animas – Caetera Tolle! “Give me souls – Take away the rest!” Don Bosco took this verse from Scripture (cf. Gen. 14:21) to be the motto for the Salesian mission in the Church. The laser focus of the Saint was the salvation of souls. No sacrifice is too small or too great. No discomfort, inconvenience, or hardship can stand in the way of our joyful fervor for souls.
- OUR SAINTS: 173 official ones as of 2021, but who’s counting? But if you really want to know how effective the Salesian charism is… the Salesian Family includes 9 Saints, 118 Blesseds, 18 Venerables, and 28 Servants of God. And we keep growing! On 30 August 2021, Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mariacristina Cella Mocellin – wife, mother, and past pupil of the Salesian Sisters- and declared her Venerable.
- JESUS. MARY: Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mother Mary: our Salesian spirituality is anchored in these two central truths of our faith. “Trust in Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Most Holy, and you will see what miracles are.” (St. John Bosco). Read the story of St. John Bosco’s “Dream of the Two Pillars.”
Is God calling you to become a saint as a Salesian Sister?
How to discern with us
First, entrust your discernment to Mary Help of Christians. She is a gentle guide and loving mother. Next, take a leap of faith and contact us. We are here to help you discover God’s will in your life, whatever it may be. This contact can be the Vocation Director, a member of the Vocation Team or a Sister from a nearby community. There is no better way to see if the shoe fits than to try it on.
You are invited to participate in our Vocation events (online and offline). If the offered dates are inconvenient for you, we can schedule an alternative visit. As we journey together, keep trusting that the Lord has a plan of love for your life and be assured of our many prayers for you on your discernment journey.
Is God calling you?
The word “discernment” comes from the Latin “discernere” which means “to separate.” When you discern religious life, you set apart time to pray, reflect and discover God’s plan.
This journey of discernment is a search for intimacy with God, an intimacy that brings interior freedom. For the love of God and neighbor you strive to become the best version of yourself. You seek to love life by service and your responsibility to others. It is a courageous decision to respond to Jesus and to live the Beatitudes radically by doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason.
As you discern, look for peace in your heart. If everyone waited for absolute certainty before making a commitment, no one ever would. An inner peace - even in the midst of lingering uncertainty - will reveal God’s call to you. Seek peace, not certainty.
Is there a deep stirring within you to give yourself to God? Are you willing to allow God to use you as His instrument? Do you desire to bring the light of Christ by service to others? If so, you may be called to religious life.
Is this life for you?
Is this life for you?
We are consecrated women, joyfully called to accompany youth as they face life's challenges. Our simple but deep prayer life, our strong community life, and our youth-centered ministry give us the enthusiasm and strength we need on this life-giving journey.
Our various ministries include early childhood, elementary and secondary education; religious education; youth and young adult ministry; summer camps; adult faith formation; outreach programs for at-risk women and youth; and a volunteer missionary program.