Salesian Sisters

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Officially designated as Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA, Official Catholic Directory #0850), one of the largest religious congregations of women in the world. They were founded by (St.) John bosco in 1872 at Mornese, Italy, for the Christian education of youth, especially the less privileged. In a small group of sodalists of Mornese, John Bosco found the nucleus of this new congregation, which, with the help of (St.) Maria mazzarello, he established and named in honor of Our Lady. Rome approved the institute temporarily in 1911 and finally in 1921. Foundations multiplied rapidly. In 1877 the first missionary group left for South America. The sisters opened houses in the Middle and Far East, in Africa, and in many parts of Europe.

The Salesian Sisters came to the United States in 1908, establishing their first center in Paterson, N.J. The sisters are principally involved in educational work in private and parochial elementary and secondary schools. The sisters give social assistance and catechetical instruction to Puerto Rican immigrants in the Paterson-Passaic area of New Jersey. In many parts of the world Salesian sisters staff boarding and day schools, kindergartens, teacher-training colleges, elementary and secondary schools, commercial and professional schools, orphanages, residences for working girls, summer camps, leper colonies, hospitals in mission posts, sodalities, alumnae organizations, retreats for teenage girls, and organized clubs.

[r. dunn/eds.]