Preventive System

St. John (Giovanni) Bosco, the founder of The Order of Salesians of Don Bosco, lives during the time of the industrial revolution. This is a time of significant social shifts. In the age of 19 and 20 century the human work is gradually replaced by machines. Thus many people lose their handicrafts. Many social problems appear – thefts, murders, divorces… Youths are among the most affected – they work for low salaries in inhuman conditions. Saint John Bosco is horrified by a visitation in a prison, where he sees many youths, smashed by the difficulties in their lives. He realizes that they have never felt real love. This made them rude and evil toward the others. He also realizes that young people are fragile and it is easy for them to go to evil way, which destroys their personality. Youth people should live in a good environment to be able to choose the good instead of the evil. Because of his experience with youths from the prison and the streets, Don Bosco establishes Oratorio – a place, where youths gather and where a good environment is prepared for them to motivate them to become good and pious. He determines his method as preventive system which is expressed in active presence (assistance) . He concludes that he will achieve successful upbringing if he accompany the youths in their road of life. This is true, because the accompaniment does not force the youths or takes away their freedom, or confuses him with different ideologies. The accompaniment leaves the youth completely free and ensure him/her that there is someone, who loves him/her disinterestednessly, who is interested in him/her, cares for him/her and wishes him/her the best.

We all have different needs. St. John Bosco considers three of them as most important:

  • The need of love (to love and to be loved)
  • The need of knowledge (to learn new things and to become skilled enough to serve with them to the others, and to become a professional in his/her job as well.
  • The need of everybody to know the meaning of his/her life. According to St. John Bosco, this in the last leads to building a connection with God, through whom only could be found the meaning of everything and to be found real knoledge and love, real assurance that life is not ending here on earth, but it continues in the future, where we will live togather with God.