Spiritual Accompaniment in the Writings of Don Bosco

Instructor: Fr. Emmanuel Camilleri, SDB

The course offers insights on the traits of spiritual accompaniment that emerge from St. John Bosco’s writings and life experience. It also provides an outlook on those theological themes presented by Don Bosco to his young readers in

his endeavor to accompany them on the path to salvation. Topics such as salvation, eschatology, ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the virtues, feature consistently in Don Bosco’s writings. The course will also give an overview of the Saint’s life experience, especially his spiritual experiences, his experience of God and spiritual friendships.

The first part will take a brief outline of the historical context of the 19th century – the century in which Don Bosco lived and worked. Don Bosco was a son of his time and therefore the language, the approach, the theology and the in particular Church of this century, together with the historical events that were emerging in Europe and especially in Italy, influenced his thought and his modus operandi.

The second part will offer an overview of the dynamics of spiritual direction and spiritual accompaniment. Besides discussing some authors, this section will also highlight Don Bosco’s experience in both spiritual guidance and accompaniment. This overview will serve so that everything will be put into context, especially that which concerns the person of St. John Bosco.

The third and final part will give insights on Don Bosco’s writings and present him as an emerging spiritual accompanier of the young. This part will take a look at some of his selected writings, particularly those addressed to the young and the emerging characteristics of spiritual accompaniment from these same works. [3.0 units]

Course Number: SP2131