Our Oratory Program was inspired by Don Bosco’s vision of a school as a home, a playground and a place of learning.
Don Bosco began his work with ‘the poor and abandoned’ young people of Turin in 1841. He identified these adolescents as ‘at risk’ of misbehaving and going to jail, and so he would gather them for religious instruction in the Oratory of St Francis De Sales.
The Oratory soon developed to include a youth centre, school, trade workshops and boarding facilities. He would gather them for recreation, religious instruction, Mass and prayer. He eventually acquired a permanent place in the suburb of Valdocco and named it the Oratory of St Francis de Sales.
Part of Don Bosco’s genius was that even in the midst of increasing institutionalisation, he was able to maintain the sense of familiarity, confidence and trust with the students and empower his ever increasing number of co-workers to relate to others in a similar fashion. The Oratory was founded as the complement of the family and the school, and, indeed, originally, as their supplement, for he was providing for homeless and illiterate boys.
Adopting Don Bosco’s Oratory vision, today’s Oratory Program was implemented as a way of ensuring your son will have developed several key life skills by the time he leaves Salesian College Chadstone.