Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco

The Congregation of the Salesian Sisters (Italian: Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, religious symbol: FMA, Latin: Congregation Filiarum Mariae Auxiliatricis, sometimes Salesian Sisters - not to be confused with the Salesian Sisters of Divine visitation or called Mariahilf sisters - in other languages: Salesiane di Don Bosco (Italian ), Salesiennes di Don Bosco (French ) Salesian Sisters (English ) ) is a Roman Catholic women's orders. The world's active religious community based on the pedagogical and spiritual principles of Don Bosco, adapted to the scope of duties of the sister community, educational and ( professional ) forming work with girls and young women.


The root of the religious community is located in the end of 1855 in Mornese by Maria Pia Unione delle Dominica Mazzarello founded the Daughters dell ' Immacolata ( Pious Union of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception ). The Union's religious background was the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the previous year. Practically, it was about the professional education of young women.

After Maria Mazzarello and her friend Petronilla had completed in 1861 apprenticed to a tailor, Maria opened the following year, a tailor's workshop in which soon resulted in the first sewing school. For space reasons, we moved into a larger space. The adjacent playground they used for the girls of the village as a Sunday oratory game, workshop and teaching catechism. In 1863 the first two orphans were taken.

After the promotion of this Union by Don Domenico Pestarino (1817-1874) and the first encounters between Mary and Don Bosco Mazzarello between October 1864 and 1871, the two founded on August 5, 1872 ( Feast of snow) in Mornese a religious institute under the called " the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians ." In the presence of the Bishop of Acqui Joseph Sciandra eleven sisters were admitted to the novitiate and his first vows and selected among them Maria Mazarello as assistant pastor of Our Lady to the first Superior.

1873 was approved by the school board of Otto Castell d'Orba in Mornese the first boarding school and the first primary school of the sisters. On October 8, 1874, she opened her second house in Borgo San Martino as an oratory for girls.

On August 28, 1875 Empress Maria Mazzarello and their first Weggefährtinnen in the presence of Don Bosco her perpetual vows. 1876 ​​followed by the establishment of the office of the Salesian Sisters in Turin Valdocco.

1877 finally the first house was opened outside of Italy in Nice. On November 14 of the same year the first six missionaries were sent specifically to Villa Colón in Uruguay. Five days earlier they received in an audience with Pope Pius IX. the papal blessing for the mission.

After many years of revision, discussion and consultation Don Bosco handed on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1878 the Salesian Sisters of the first printed version of their constitutions.

1879 the seat of the religious community was moved to Nizza Monferrato, to make them accessible for interested girls. It took over to an old Franciscan convent with a church which was dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie.

1880 was the second mission of the Sisters expedition to Patagonia in Argentina, where already Salesians of Don Bosco had.

As a mother Mazzarello 1881 fell ill and eventually died on May 14 at the age of 44, she left 26 houses in Italy, France and Uruguay, with 166 sisters, 50 novices and 22 postulants.

1884 held the Salesian Sisters from their first general chapter.

When Don Bosco died on 31 January 1888, there were 393 sisters.

1891 went the sisters as the Salesians of Don Bosco to Palestine, 1893, they opened their activities in Africa with a plant in Algeria.

1911 was the approval of the Congregation of the Holy See.

1929, the seat of the religious community was moved to Turin - Valdocco finally to Rome in 1969. This year they held a " Special General Chapter " to the post-conciliar renewal from. With two steps, she went ahead to the Salesians of Don Bosco, the convening of this Chapter 1971 and until 1972 their Generalate in 1972 transferred to Rome.

Major events in the history of the Congregation were the beatification of the foundress on 20 November 1938 and their canonization on 12 June 1951.

Known Don Bosco sisters



Eröffneter beatification process:

  • Venerable Teresa Valse - Pantellini
  • Servant of God Laura Meozzi

Organization in the world

With 14007 members in 1455 stores in 92 countries on all five continents, the Salesian Sisters are among the largest religious orders of the Catholic Church.

A Don Bosco sister takes care of sick and poor in the former Madras Presidency, India

Superiors General

End of October 2008, Sister Yvonne Reungoat the tenth Superior General of the Congregation and was following as the first non- Italian after the 136- year history of the Congregation Madre Antonia Colombo.

List of Superiors General:

Organization in Germany and Austria

In 1922 the first six Salesian Sisters arrived in Essen- Borbeck to work there together with the Salesians of Don Bosco. From there, the community is widespread in Germany. In 1924 a second store was opened in Eschelbach. In Austria, the first Salesian Sisters in 1928 went to Jagdberg Schlins (Vorarlberg).

On 16 May 1945, the German province of " Mary Help of Christians " was canonically erected. The Italian Sister Alba de Ambrosis was first Provincial Superior. On 3 November 1954, the division of the German - Austrian province took place. Sister Alba de Ambrosis was Provincial Superior in Austria, sister Giovanna Zacconi, also Italian, the new Provincial Superior in Germany was.

Provincials since 1945:

  • Germany: 1945-1954: Alba de Ambrosis
  • 1954-1960: Giovanna Zacconi
  • 1960-1966: Angela Becker
  • 1966-1979: Theresa Lumer
  • 1979-1985: Maria Eder
  • 1985-1991: Margareta Nickl
  • 1991-1997: Katharina Schmid
  • 1997-2005: Pink Hell
  • Since 2005: Petra Egeling
  • Austria: 1954-1960: Alba de Ambrosis
  • 1960-1972: Giovanna Zacconi
  • 1972-1981: Theresa widower
  • 1981-1987: Ingeborg Hefel
  • 1987-1993: Adolfine Binder
  • 1993-1999: Gertrude Haller
  • 1999-2005: Hermione Mülleder
  • Since 2005: Maria Maxwald

Currently (2010) live about 86 sisters in 10 offices in Germany. The offices are located in Augsburg, Benediktbeuren, Eschelbach, Essen- Borbeck, Essen- Kettwig, Gelsenkirchen - Scholven, Kelheim, Magdeburg, Munich, Hieronymus -St. Joseph. They work in these places in kindergartens, nurseries, Horten, a hostel, a girls dormitory and an open children's and youth center.

In Austria there are seven branches in tree churches, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Stams and Vöcklabruck currently with 85 sisters. Run there kindergartens, day-care centers, schools, dormitories, a socio-educational residential community and are - in addition to the association Jugend Eine Welt and the Salesians of Don Bosco - a parent bodies of the minor for unaccompanied refugees - in short " UMF " - social education across Austria Don Bosco refugee work. They are active in extracurricular children's and youth work in parishes and in the pastoral care of families.