100 ans de présence à Genève
The impetus for the school’s founding in Geneva came from a request in 1919 from Mlle Paola Gloria, founder of the Italian Mission. She opened a school on the Rue de la Servette in 1922 which was eventually transferred to Veyrier with the name of « La Salésienne » in 1951.
In January of that year the Sisters left the parish of Saint Anthony of Padua for good, and set up their establishment in the commune of Veyrier, in a property dating from 1850, the gift of another religious community.
The Institut La Salésienne opened its doors to children of kindergarten and primary school age, as well as to some boarders.
Shortly afterwards, the Sisters received a pre-fabricated building which had been used for temporary classes in Neuchâtel canton.
This building became the primary school of the Institute and remained such until the 2017 renovation.
Jean Bosco was born on August 6, 1815 at Castelnuovo d’Asti, near Turin, the third son in a modest farming family. Aged nine, a “dream” led him to see his vocation as a teacher, before being ordained as a priest on June 5, 1841.
On December 8, 1841, he took in a 16-year-old orphan, Barthélemy Garelli. This became the foundation of his work, the necessity of which was confirmed during his prison visiting. In one of the poorest districts of Turin, the Valdocco, he launched his first “oratories” (places for leisure and cultural activities, as well as for deeper understanding of Christian life).
As a result of these first steps, Don Bosco proposed a “preventive” education system, insisting upon the teachers’ constant presence at the childrens’ sides.
In 1859, Don Bosco founded the Society of Saint François de Sales, the Salésiens, together with the young people living with him.
On the initiative of Marie-Dominique Mazzarello (canonised on June 24, 1951) they together created the institute for girls “The Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians” in 1872. The Salésiens crossed frontiers and became established most notably in France and South America.
A popular writer, builder, founder of religious institutions, confidant of Pope Pius IX, Don Bosco died in Turin on January 31, 1888. He was canonised on Easter Sunday 1934, then named “Father-Master of youth” by Pope John-Paul II in January 1988.
“The child has always a paternal or maternal eye watching over him”