The Pius Society of St Francis de Sales also known as Salesian Congregation is engaged in missionary activities ‘ad gentes’, ministering to people who are in need of first Evangelization. From the beginnings of our Congregation the thirst for spreading the gospel has been the urge of St John Bosco who in 1875 sent the first Salesian missionaries to Argentina and other South American countries. The missionary activity of the Congregation has also spread to other continents.
In a dream, St John Bosco saw a line drawn from Valparaiso (Chile) to Beijing (China) and the guide of his dream told the saint that the missionary activity of the Salesians would in the future embrace all those areas included in the line. The efforts from the congregation to reach out China have been countless, most especially at the beginning of the XX century. The first two Salesian Martyrs were in fact missionaries in China, Mons.Luigi Versiglia and Fr. Calisto Caravario.
In Africa, although there were some strong presences such as South Africa and Congo D.R, the Salesian Congregation launched in the early 80′ the ‘Project Africa’. The concern of the Congregation for Africa has made possible a fast growth, going from two provinces to more than 9 provinces and delegations. Most Salesian provinces in Africa are still made up of missionaries, nevertheless, the work among people of Africa is bearing fruits and slowly young African men and women are joining the Salesian Family.
Even today, the Salesian Congregation continues its missionary endeavor bringing the gospel to people not yet evangelized but also reaching out to new groups such as immigrants and gypsies. The wish of the Congregation is to animate all Salesians to become missionaries, not only in the heart but also in their lives.
Africa, although still a missionary land, is also producing young African missionaries who avail themselves to be sent to other nations. There are some who work in African nations other than their own, but there also some African Salesians who are now working in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
The Mission Department makes available a publication entitled ‘Cagliero 11′ (which can be downloaded at http://www.sdb.org/it/missioni-it/552-cagliero11-it.html) which gathers missionary appeals from all over the Salesian World, fostering knowledge of needs and the responses which the Congregation gives to those needs.