Our History

As a religious family, we were founded by St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello in Mornese, Italy, on August 5, 1872. Now we are more than 11,500 sisters in 96 countries. John Bosco envisioned us as a living monument of his gratitude to Our Lady for her daily care and protection. Our charism, or specific gift to the Church, is youth ministry, particularly for the poor and marginalized young people. 

In 1908, four young missionaries left Italy and arrived in New Jersey to initiate the Salesian charism in the United States. Our first community in Texas began in 1934 and in California in 1950. For a long time we were one province, that is, the entire USA and Canada. In 1987, due to the enormous distances, we divided into two provinces—the original Eastern Province (SUA) and the new Western Province (SUO) with our Provincial House in San Antonio, Texas. 

In 2022, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians celebrated our 150th Anniversary. Click here to see more about the celebrations that took place throughout ourWestern Province.