Don Bosco had great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and believed that frequent Communion and Confession were the secret to running a happy and peaceful ministry where young people could grow in faith. St. John Bosco used to tell his boys, "If you are in need of many graces, go often to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."
Regarding confession, St. John Bosco said, "First of all, do everything you can to avoid offending God, but if unfortunately you should commit sin, do not let the devil prevail upon you to not confess it. Remember that the confessor is a father who is eager to do all he can for you and help protect you from all possible harm."
As Salesian Sisters we participate in the celebration of the Eucharist daily, and frequently make visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We also say a special prayer called the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament each day.
During a time of great uproar and difficulty in Italy, when many were against the Pope and the Church in Rome, St. John Bosco remained steadfast in his filial love and dedication to the Holy Father. In fact, he would teach his boys to say, "Viva il Papa." (Long live the pope!) He did not foster love for one individual pope, but for the office of the Bishop of Rome. For the Sisters today, we retain Don Bosco's practice of praying daily for the pope. In our schools, we still encourage young people to love the pope, and to look to him for guidance, especially in matters of faith and morals. With Don Bosco, we can still say, "The Pope's word must be our norm in everything and at all times."
"A joyful heart is the sign of one who loves the Lord very much." This was what St. Mary Mazzarello used to say, and this is how Salesians continue to operate today. Salesian schools and houses are known to be places of happiness, where joy overflows, and laughter is often heard in the classrooms and the hallways.
We could say that joy and optimism were part of Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello's way of looking at the world and all of reality. In all things, they could not help but see the potential. St. John Bosco said, "Always tend to think well of other people. Give them credit at least for their good intentions." That is how Salesians look at young people today, as God's works - full of potential.
"If we practice charity, every community will be a little heaven," St. John Bosco used to say. The Salesian ideal of nurturing a home in our schools flows from the home created among the adults involved in the education of the young person. The health of the home and its communal striving for sanctity remain at the heart of the Salesian charism.