St. John Bosco; (1980) 1981: Thanjavur
The vision of the Don Bosco Aspirantate, Yagappa Nagar, Thanjavur is to facilitate the emotional, intellectual, moral, social, pastoral and spiritual maturity of every candidate by empowering him with skills and gospel and moral values that will make him inclined to choose Salesian or any other religious or diocesan priestly vocation if he so desires.
The main target group is the aspirants (Students/Candidates) who are preparing themselves for Salesian life and proximately to enter into the pre-novitiate. The students will enter the pre-novitiate after finishing the higher secondary education and the candidates after the English coaching classes and the community experiences.
Thanjavur entered into Salesian history already at the beginning of this century. In fact, the first batch of five Salesians Fr. Tomatis George, Fr. Biebuyck Richard, Fr. Vigneron Ernest Fr. Ballestra Maria, Coadjutor Bro. John Rostagno and an aspirant Adrian Rivetto arrived in Thanjavur on 14th of January 1906. From then on, the Salesians worked here and around Thanjavur successfully for quite some years. For some reasons, they were asked to leave the place and go elsewhere to work in India. They went over to Mylapore and Vellore, and to Bandel. Thus the first phase of the Salesian presence ended in Thanjavur in 1928.
The Second phase of Salesian missionary work was started in May 1980. On 24thMay 1980, Fr. K.O. Louis and Fr. Camillus were sent by Fr. Benjamin Puthota, the Provincial to begin our work in the 10 acre of land donated to the Salesians by Mgr. Sundaram. Fr. K.O. Louis was looking after the Youth Work in the Thanjavur Diocese and the construction work of the Aspirantate while Fr. Camillus did the Vocation Promotion in Tamil Nadu. On 1st June 1981 the first batch of Aspirants 36 of them joined the Aspirantateafter attending the Vocation Camp. There were six Salesians who formed the first Salesian community. The foundation for the new Aspirantate was laid on 24th August 1980. The aspirants in the meantime were housed in a small building in this compound and they attended St. Antony’s School in Pookara Street, for their studies. Later Don Bosco Matriculation School was started in June 1983. The first batch of students appeared for the Govt. Matriculation exams in April 1985. The Dominic Savio preparatory School was started in 1985.
Later the Higher Secondary section was started in June 1993. The first batch of students appeared for the government exams in March – April, 1995. Earlier the aspirants were doing their studies from 8th standard onwards but from 1999, only the students who have done their 8thmatriculation or 10th matriculation and those who had completed 12th std were admitted. This policy was kept up till 2009. From 2009 we began to take again the candidates who had completed 8th and 10th std both from Tamil as well as English medium. Thus in the year 2018 – 2019 we have 70 aspirants.
ASPIRANTATE: DB Aspirantate consists of 55 Aspirants and 15 PHS. The Aspirants are doing their schooling (classes from 9 to 12) at DB School. The Aspirants and the PHS are grouped under 7 sodalities. Annual programme is prepared.
DBMHSS: Don Bosco Matriculation higher secondary school has 1103 students for this Academic Year. There are 361 Catholics and 742 non-Catholics studying in the School. There are 37 teaching staff and 22 supporting staff in the School. School has got Cultural, Eco-friendly, Human Rights, JRC, YCS/YSM, RSP, RRC, Music and Media clubs.
DS PRIMARY SCHOOL: Dominic Savio School consists of 866 students this year. There are 636 boys and 230 girls in the school. There are 143 Catholics and 723 non-Catholics studying in the School. There are 28 teaching staff in the School. School has got Cultural Club, Music Club, Eco-Friendly Club, Friends of Dominic Savio, Helping hands, Tamil and English Literary associations, Holy Childhood and Bulbul clubs.
SALESIAN COOPERATORS: There is a local unit of Salesian Co-operators with 37 promised members and 2 aspirants. They have meetings once a month. On the last Friday of every month, they study their regulations and share on the life of Don Bosco. They extend their collaboration and support in all the activities of the community. Efforts are being made to increase their numbers.
PAST PUPILS OF DON BOSCO: There is a unit of Past Pupils of Don Bosco. All the boys who pass out from the school are officially enrolled in the Past Pupils Association. There are 124 active members and 18 core group team members. They have their regular meetings and they are animated by the core group, under the guidance of the Principal. General body meeting is convened during Pongal holidays every year. Batch wise meetings are conducted once in three months. Executive body meeting is held every month.
REACH OUT PROGRAMME – ORATORIES AND EVENING STUDY CENTRE: The community is reaching out to the neighbouring villages through Oratories and Evening study centres. The PHS visit 5 villages on Sundays and conduct the oratories. With the assistance of the co-operators and lay collaborators the community runs an evening tuition centre. There are 40 children at the centre. The community also extends its assistance for the Juvenile home boys.
THANJAVUR – 613 007
Phone: (04362) 257664 Rector/House