Our
Family
Portrait
 

Our Founders
He had promised to give his every breath for the good of the young. She promised to make of her whole life a hymn of praise to the glory of God alone. His name was Don Bosco and her name was Mary Mazzarello.They had a love for youth so strong and a presence so irresistible, the young literally fell in line behind them. For over twenty years his idea of a mission for youth had meant boys only, until Mary, the Help of Christians made it clear that girls "were her children too".

Don Bosco knew that with her wish, Mary would provide an answer. That was soon to come in the person of Mary Mazzarello. Her presence and work with the girls in her little town coincided in many striking ways with his work with boys.But far and beyond the work itself, Don Bosco was deeply stirred by the spirit that motivated her. As both prospered under the loving glance of the Father, their twin powers fused in a common mission to form the young into "good Christians and honest citizens" for a better world.

Arrival in
the United States
In 1872 the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was established. This first community of Sisters formed a family atmosphere so strong in the love of Jesus that it gave way to a heritage that would soon surpass the boundaries of time and space and extend itself throughout the world. On July 16, 1908 it's loving embrace reached the shores of the United States upon the arrival of four Sisters.

In the midst of harsh living conditions and a scant diet they found nourishment in prayer, community, self-forgetfulness and sacrifice. They moved outward among Italian immigrant families in search of souls to catechize, marriages to rectify and children to enroll in their projected school. God, who sees and cares for his little ones, blessed their faith, charity and privation. Works expanded, an abundance of youth filled their day and many young women knocked at their door in pursuit of the same deep relationship with Jesus and neighbor witnessed by the Sisters.

Alive and Well Today
Today, that family atmosphere, so typical of the Salesian heritage, is still experienced by the hundreds of youth with which God blesses us. Like our first Sisters we are empowered with an ardent prayer life, strong community life and simple lifestyle that overflows into a single ministry that takes many forms. You can find the Salesian Sisters among youth in schools, youth centers, summer camps, leadership retreats, catechetical centers, youth gatherings on a local and worldwide level and in retreat centers. Perhaps there is a place for you!

For more information please contact:
Sr. Antoinette Cedrone, FMA

655 Belmont Avenue • Haledon, NJ 07508 (973)790-4408
© 2002 by Salesian Sisters Vocation Office