20 Dec 2018
Rome’s Sacred Heart to be definitive Salesian HQ
(ANS – Rome – December 18) – During a Good Night to the Salesian community of the Sacred Heart in central Rome on December 17, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime presented a letter that informed participants of “an important decision that I have made together with the general council regarding the definitive placement of the Salesian headquarters, which will be at Sacred Heart.”
Sacred Heart (Sacro Cuore) is a historical center for Salesians all over the world: the house where Don Bosco stayed when he was in Rome; the place of remembering and loving the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the site of the basilica wherein is the altar of Mary Help of Christians where Don Bosco wept repeatedly during the one Mass he celebrated there, remembering the work done in his life. Sacred Heart is also the place where Don Bosco wrote the famous letter of 1884 to young people.
Undoubtedly, the decision to choose Sacred Heart as the seat of Salesian central government entailed an intense dialog with the Salesian province of Central Italy and the national center of the Italian Salesian provinces, and the transfer of their pastoral activities by 2020.
The Rector Major also said that the general headquarters will assume the pastoral services related to the Sacred Heart Basilica and to young immigrants, as well as care for and services at Don Bosco’s rooms, as part of special Salesian sites.
In the letter Rector Major has sent by to the Salesians and the Salesian Family all over the world, he details the whole procedure that was followed in the maturation of this historic decision, its processes, and the timing of implementation.
From the time of the founding of the Society of St. Francis de Sales in 1859 its central headquarters remained at the motherhouse in Valdocco (Turin) until they relocated to a brand-new complex in 1970 in the far outskirts of Rome on via della Pisana. That complex was given up last year when the central government of the Society moved to Sacred Heart on a temporary basis until the general council could formulate a more permanent plan—which it has now done.