Association of Salesian Cooperators
Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASC) is the movement of laity of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco. It is also one of the three main branches of the Salesian Family founded directly by Don Bosco in 1876. The movement was created with the purpose to share the ideals of the Salesian Preventive System in the education of young people, especially those who are poorest, without the need to be a priest or a lay religious. According to a 2005's census, there are 26,703 persons affiliated to this movement around the world.
The ASC's superior is the Rector Major of the Salesians, inside a board of trust known as the World Council. Priests and bishops of the dioceses can join this movement, sharing the ideals and educative philosophies of Don Bosco.
In 1873, Pope Pius IX approved the rules of the Salesian Society.
In the 1876 Annual Conference's report of the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, Don Bosco mentioned his plan to create the Association of Salesian Cooperators:
|“||"It has hardly come into existence and it already numbers many members. Its aim is mutual assistance: spiritual, moral and also financial (...) Financially, the association is to be totally autonomous. Of course, we shall carefully avoid any clash with episcopal or civil authorities (...)"||”|
Don Bosco linked the development of the Salesian Bulletin to the foundation of the Cooperators:
|“||"Hand in hand with this project, we have decided to publish a bulletin which will pretty much become the Congregation's official publication and include many things we'll need to make known to our cooperators. It will come out regularly and will link Salesians and cooperators."||”|
In 1877 the Salesians did their first general chapter and Don Bosco reported the development of the cooperators and the Salesian Bulletin. He described the Association as people who wish to devote themselves to works of mercy in a specific rather than general way and he underlined that the mission of the cooperators is to take care of boys, who are exposed to immorality, catechizing them, keeping them happily busy on Sundays and holy days, finding them jobs with honest employers (...)
In the chapter, Don Bosco established the rules and missions of the cooperators and designed the way so any Catholic lay person, willing to join his educative mission in favor of poor young people, could join.
- "Salesian Cooperators". Salesians of Don Bosco, Province of Mary Help of Christians, Melbourne. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Salesian Cooperators, how many?". Consiglio Mondiale dei Salesiani Cooperatori, Rome. Archived from the original on 2010-05-07. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Salesian Cooperators, World Council". Consiglio Mondiale dei Salesiani Cooperatori, Rome. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Eugenio, Ceria; Diego Borgatello (1965). The Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco. New York: Salesiana Publisher, Inc. pp. 45–71.
- Eugenio, Ceria; Diego Borgatello (1965). The Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco. New York: Salesiana Publisher, Inc. pp. 177–219.