Vocational Awareness

St. John Bosco, or, as he is commonly called, “Don Bosco” (the Italian word “Don” meaning Father), was born at Becchi, a town in the foothills of the Italian Alps, on August 16, 1815. His father died when he was two and his childhood and first years of study were filled with difficulties which include supporting himself while attending school. He overcame this problem by working at various trades, all of which he later taught his students. Don Bosco entered the Chieri Seminary and was ordained in 1841. He was stationed inTurin, an industrial center which attracted young people from neighboring towns. There he opened an “oratory” or boys club for them. Although he did not hesitate to extend his priestly services to prisons and reformatories, he gradually came to realize that his mission was to prevent youngsters from falling into crime rather then rehabilitate delinquents. Because of this insight, he opened his oratory (youth centre) to all boys.