January 23

1876: The immoral to be expelled

A remark found in the little chronicle of Father Barberis that year tallies with this timely, fatherly warning of Don Bosco. “It is the rule of the house, he writes, that under no circumstances will bad boys, who might corrupt their companions in any way, be tolerated. One single indecent conversation or immoral act suffices to dismiss the guilty one from the House. But this may not be done without first talking the matter over with Don Bosco…”. What Father Barberis wrote on January 23, 1876 is also very timely: “Severe measures are taken whenever a boy is guilty of indecent conduct. It is enough for us to know for certain that there have been indecent conversations or that acts have been committed – not in themselves completely immoral but rather in the nature of boyish (sexual curiosity) – for the offenders to be expelled from the House immediately.” (BM XI, 429)

1876: FMA a diocesan congregation

Mgr. Sciandra, bishop of Acqui, promulgated a decree approving the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians as a diocesan congregation: …To win diocesan approval more quickly, he thought it more opportune to identify the institute as a work arising not only within the diocese but also by the initiative of one of its priests. At any rate, the episcopal decree of approval, dated January 23 1876, restores the proper perspective. The second paragraph, which gives the background and must be based on real facts, ascribes to Don Bosco the founding of the sisterhood in these words: “…the proposal conceived by the Reverend John Bosco, a priest of Turin and superior of the Pious Salesian Society:namely, of instituting in this diocese, at Mornese, the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians…”. (BM xi!, 205)

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