Don Bosco lived between August 16th 1815 and January 31st 1888. His birth co-incided with the Industrial Revolution wherein an important feature was the proliferation of religious congregations for men and women directed to charitable deeds, social welfare and education.
Family was his first school and his mother was his first teacher. He was strongly influenced and moulded by religion and hard work. Most influential feature of his life was the reality of finding himself deeply immersed into a holistic formative structure. Don Bosco had very keen interest in literature and he was a voracious reader. He showed serious concern for order, discipline and morality. He received a scientific and university type of formation at the seminary. He saw the dangers to which aimless youngsters were exposed to so he started schools and founded colleges along the lines of the seminary.
Education was the first area where Don Bosco brought the divine to the 19th century and concern for the working class and for work, the spirit of association, civilization of underdeveloped people. Don Bosco’s pedagogy came together with involvement and clever initiative in an atmosphere of peace, dignity and trust. For Don Bosco the Preventive System was the absolute and well-defined rule. The best and most miraculous power required for control according to him was Moral Power.
MARIA DOMENICA MAZZARELLO
The biography of Mary Domenica Mazzarello is brief (44 years). It could be divided into four stages, each characterized by a precise area of maturation in her Christian and consecrated life.
The first stage refers to the first thirteen years, from her birth in Mornese, in Upper Monferrato (1837) to her First Communion (1850). These were years lived in the family, characterized by a solid Christian life and by tireless work as peasants. Intelligent, strong-willed and gifted with a rich affectivity, Mary Domenica undertook her journey of maturing her faith accompanied by her parents and by her wise spiritual director Fr. Domenico Pestarino.
The second stage (1850-1860) is characterized by a marked internalisation of the faith, a fruit of her First Communion. This would lead her to consecrate her youth to God with the vow of virginity and with her zealous participation in the life of the parish, especially through her membership in the group of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. At 23 she was stricken ill with a severe case of typhoid, an event that would profoundly change her life. She leaves behind her work in the farm, not only because of the loss of her physical strength but because a clear educational intuition begins to mature in her. Thus, she dedicates herself to the education of young girls of the village through a sewing workroom, a festive oratory and a home for orphaned girls.
In the third stage (1860-1872) we see her as a woman more open to Gods plan in her life. The encounter with Saint John Bosco (1864) is Gods response to the deepest apostolic desires in her heart. On August 5, 1872 a new religious family dedicated to the good of the young is born. Don Bosco is the Founder and Mary Domenica Mazzarello is the Co-Foundress of this institute.
The The fourth and last stage, of her life (1872-1881) is characterized by Mary Domenica Mazzarellos spiritual motherhood through the formation of the Sisters, her numerous travels to visit the new foundations, the growth and missionary expansion of the Institute, her written words, the daily offering of herself in patient and compassionate charity.
She died in Nizza Monferrato on May 14, 1881. She left her daughters with a solid educational tradition; God has granted her the gift of discernment and made her a simple and wise woman. Her feast is celebrated on May 13.
Auxilium High School, Mahendra Hills
situated in Secunderabad is one of the best co-education school in Secunderabad, run by the Daughters of Mary Help, commonly known as Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, a congregation founded by St. John Bosco and St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello in Italy in 1872. The congregation has 14115 Sisters, working in 1465 Centres of 91 Nations in 6 Continents.
Auxilium High School was founded in 1991 and very soon it has become one of the top schools in Secunderabad. The school follows the educative system of Don Bosco, based on Reason, Godliness and Loving Kindness, where the pupil is the protagonist of his/her own formation. The educating Community consisting of parents, teachers, pupils and management, work together for the ‘holistic’ development of the pupil in a family atmosphere.
Don Bosco, one of the great educationists of the 19th Century gifted his followers with a unique method of education called the Preventive System. It is a succinct statement of some of the educational principles Don Bosco evolved from his experience with youth. The Preventive System tries to avoid every occasion of evil by proper supervision and aims to convince the pupils through friendly persuasion of the need to do good and avoid evil. It is a method and a spirituality which has LOVE as its base. It is a relationship of confidence, love and affectionate collaboration between the students and teachers. It means:
- A constant search for values which promotes one’s personal growth and contributes to the development of one’s human and civil culture.
- The authentic experience of God lived with simplicity and translated in to a communal rapport with one’s brethren.
- The Kindness that strengthens the bond of friendship builds up the family spirit and creates solidarity.
- Accepting Mary as Model for women, as Teacher and Mother who helps, guides, protects and teaches, self-giving for the service of others.
- Drawing the inspiration from the charity of Christ the Good Shepherd.
IDENTITY OF AUXILIUM EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
The Auxilium educational institutions are owned by the Sacred Heart Salesian Sisters Society, Bangalore registered under the Societies Registration Act of XXI, 1860. Auxilium schools/colleges are minority institutions, established and administered by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians commonly known as Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco. It is primarily meant for the education of Catholics, but members of other communities are also admitted without reference to caste or creed and their rights of conscience are respected. True to the vision of their Founders, the schools/colleges commit themselves to serve the economically and socially backward and needy students.
This mission of education is accomplished primarily through the team effort of several collaborators namely the Educating Community which consists of:
- The Religious Community (Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco – FMA), the animating nucleus.
- The Parents
- The Teachers
- The members of the Salesian Family and other lay collaborators who nurture the growth process.
- Young People are the focus of all educative interventions.
The Educating community is a complex reality that constantly grows and develops. In it there is an animating core group which is made up of the religious community, parents, educators and young people who seek, in their lives, to witness to values that promote human dignity and integral growth of the young people.
In an educating community that educates itself and others, the animating core group is one that shares faith in God. It fulfills its mission by valuing everyone’s contribution and in an attitude of co-responsibility and participation, favours the creation of the family spirit, loving kindness and joy which are typical elements of the Salesian spirit. We look up to Mary as our Mother, Model, Teacher and Guide. The members own, share and evaluate the educational plan, appreciating the contribution of every one.
At the heart of the relationship between the FMA, the laity and young people is the choice of living authentically their common human identity and educational vocation according to the style and characteristics of the Salesian Charisma.
The Past Pupil’s Association commits itself to work alongside the FMA for promotion and education especially of the poor, the defense of the family, of human rights and of peace.
The Salesian Co-operators as the lay branch of the Congregation commits itself to the mission to educate young people and working people in the Salesian style.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AUXILIUM EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
- Don Bosco’s method of Education
- Preventive System- Reason, Religion and Loving kindness.
- Family spirit
- Educative presence and Accompaniment
- Holistic development
- Quest for Excellence
- Catechesis and Value Education
- Sense of the Divine and communion with God
- Optimism, Joy and Celebration
- Motherly presence of Mary
- Commitment to the promotion of Human Rights. Educative value of groups.