Founded by St John Bosco and St Maria Dominica Mazzarello to work for and with young people and their families. We began in 1872 in a small village called Mornese in Northern Italy. Our spirit is the Salesian spirit, as lived out by our Founder and co-Foundress. We have communities all over the world and now number 12,959 sisters. (December 2013). The Salesian sisters came to Ireland in 1920. We were invited to Limerick by the then Bishop Denis Hallinan, who knew Don Bosco personally in Turin. Our first house in Limerick was in Thomas St, in the city, St. Ita’s .
In 1924 The Cleeve’s property on the north side of the Shannon was bought and became the community house for the sisters. It had plenty of ground for development and was later was to accommodate three schools – an Infant School, a Primary and a Secondary.
Today we are in 13 communities in the Dublin and Limerick areas.
As Salesian sisters we dedicate our lives to God and make a conscious option to be open to the needs of young people and families, especially those most disadvantaged. Our recent General Chapter has urged us “to be with the young a home which evangelises”, through our lives and through our Salesian approach in relationships both in community and with others.
The sisters are involved in formal and non-formal education in schools schools; in clubs and after-school activities, Follow Your Dream; pastoral work in parishes, sacramental preparation, promoting spirituality in various ways, various forms of therapy and counselling, Vides volunteers, keeping in touch with past Pupils, Cooperators’ Association etc. We share these ministries with our lay colleagues.
Salesian Sisters are an international congregation working in 94 countries of the five continents. Here in Ireland our sisters are involved in a wide variety of ministries. These include:
- Working with young people at all levels
- Education through Junior, Primary and Secondary Schools
- Parish Ministries
- Clubs for youth and young at heart
- Visitation, counselling, social work
- Art therapy
- Youth leadership programmes
- Adult literacy programmes
- Youth retreats/spirituality
- Sacramental preparation
- Prayer groups for adults and young people