John Bosco, commonly known as Don Bosco, was born on 16th August 1815 at Becchi, a village near Turin, Italy. He lost his father at the age of two. His childhood was steeped in poverty and even though he liked to study, he could not pursue his dream due to fierce opposition from his stepbrother Anthony. However his mother encouraged and supported him to pursue his dream. He eventually had to leave home, work for his needs and pursue his studies as best as he could.
Through heroic sacrifices and by dint of hard work he was able to complete his studies and seminary training and became a priest in 1841. As a priest he dedicated himself to the service of boys, especially the poor by offering them food, lodging and education. Through the help of generous persons he opened technical schools, hostels and other institutions. Soon he founded a society of collaborators and extended his work to all Europe and even to other continents.
Don Bosco died on January 31, 1888 at the age of 73. He was declared a saint by Pope Pius XI, in 1934. Pope John Paul II called him “Father and Teacher of Youth.”Don Bosco called his Educational project “The Preventive System”. It is based entirely on Reason, Religion and above all, on Kindness. It follows the words of St. Paul, “Charity is patient, is kind, it bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things” (1Cor. 13:4-7).
The work of this humble priest has grown from a tiny seed onto a large tree. The society he founded now numbers over 17,561 members working in over 130 countries through 3,512 institutions. In India alone, there are over 2500 Salesians serving the educational needs of our children through 300 centres scattered throughout the country.
Presently Salesian province of Silchar coordinates all the Don Bosco institutions in Silchar region, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, Tripura and Mizoram. St. Anthony’s Higher Secondary School is one of the best known institutions in the region and of the Province of Silchar.