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To be a ‘Salesian of Don Bosco’ means to belong to a Catholic organisation of men who dedicate their entire lives to God through generous service to young people, especially those who are poorer and disadvantaged. This way of life entails professing the three vows, living in communities, educating and evangelising young people after the example of Don Bosco.

There are two modes of being a Salesian:

The Salesian Priest

A Salesian Priest is a consecrated religious, an ordained minister, a missionary and minister of the young.

The Salesian Brother

A Salesian Brother is a consecrated lay religious, who works in a secular field and by his consecrated life proclaims and bears witness to a convinced life of faith and a total dedication to God.

The Journey of a Salesian in Formation Process

Becoming a Salesian involves a process of prayer, study, personal and professional formation, and practical experience working with young people. The key steps in the process are:

Step 1: Pre-novitiate [6-12 Months]

Initial response to a sense of God’s invitation. ‘Come and See’ approach

Step 2: Novitiate [1 Year]

A more intense initiation into Salesian religious life, living in community and growing closer to God, culminating in taking first religious vows

Step 3: Post Novitiate [2-3 Years}

Beginning or continuing formal study to enable one to serve the Church and the young.

Step 4: Practical Training [2 Years]

A chance to use one’s learning and skills for a significant period in a youth setting, such as a school or youth centre.

Step 5: Theological Studies [3-4 Years]

Deepening the call, theological reflection, preparing for final religious vows, and, in case of a priestly vocation, ordination to the priesthood