Don Bosco Past Pupils' Association
The origin of the Don Bosco Past Pupils' Association is to be sought in the Preventive System, based as it is on the supernatural love of Don Bosco for the young. The pupils felt themselves loved by Don Bosco, not merely as pupils, but as sons, and consequently felt the need to return to their father's house on his feast day on June 24, 1870. Henceforth, under the leadership of Charles Gastini, it became an annual affair and the beginning of the association of past pupils.
The members of the Past Pupils’ Association are persons who, because they attended a Salesian school, training centre, tertiary institution, oratory or another Salesian presence, received a preparation for life, based on the principles of Don Bosco’s Preventive System: reason, religion and loving-kindness. Enriched by their formation to be ‘good Christians and honest citizens’ as well as by the charism of Don Bosco, they bear witnesses in their daily life to the Salesian education they have received.
Don Bosco created a vast movement of persons to bring the Gospel of Jesus to young people and to work for their benefit. He himself founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco), the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters), the Association of Salesian Cooperators, and the Association Devoted to Mary Help (ADMA). Since then other groups have formed. Today 31 groups make up the Salesian Family spread throughout the world. These Groups have specifically distinct vocations but they live in communion with each other, share Don Bosco’s charism of ministering to the young especially those who are poor and at risk.