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10 Things You Should Know About The Salesian Sisters

The Salesian Sisters Congregation

10 things you should know about our congregation.

There are many vocations within the Salesian Family! Women are invited to consider being a Salesian Cooperator (lay collaborator, single or married), a Volunteer of Don Bosco (consecrated lay single with vows), or a Salesian Sister. We rejoice and give thanks to God that our congregation continues to grow here and throughout the world.


The title was chosen by St. John Bosco because of the esteem he had for St. Frances de Sales, and his desire that his Sisters, Priests, and Brothers to imitate the kind and gentle ways of this saint.


St. Mary Mazzarello (1837-1881) worked with St. John Bosco (also known as Don Bosco) and found the Salesian Sisters in 1872. Today, our Order numbers more than 13,000 Sisters in 96 countries.


This title for the Blessed Mother dates to 1571 and Pope Pius V. Don Bosco believed, “Our Lady wants us to honor Her under the title Mary, Help of Christians. Times are so bad that we need Our Lady to help us to be faithful and defend our faith.”


Our official initials represent our official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.


The Salesian Sisters is an international congreation, and is geographically divided into provinces. The Southern Africa Region currently have communities of Salesian Sisters living in Lesotho, Zambia and South Africa.


The mission of the Salesian Sisters, Priests, and Brothers is to educate young people, especially the poor.


With the declining number of young women and men choosing religious life in the Catholic Church, we feel fortunate that our Order is growing around the world and in Africa.


Salesian Cooperators are lay people who work with us to bring the Salesian Spirit to their families and work place. Volunteers of Don Bosco are lay woman with vows who carry out the Salesian Spirit in the same fashion.


An atmosphere of warmth and love permeates our Salesian convents, schools, youth centers, and oratories. We’re a welcoming, extended family.


The motto of our Congregation, which means:Give me Souls…Take Away The Rest! It was the battle cry of Don Bosco that he left as a legacy to us.


Founding of Salesian Sisters

We were founded in 1872 by by St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello.


Our Congregation

We are the largest Congregation of religious women with 11,000 sisters worldwide.


Global Presence

We have sisters serving in 98 countries across the globe.


Arrival in Southern Africa

The Salesian Sisters arrived in South Africa in 1961; in Lesotho in 1983 and in Zambia in 1984.

Get involved and help us achieve our mission to bring the poor youth throughout the world closer to Christ, through education and formation.