Salsian Cooperators is the first group of lay ministers established by St John Bosco to help him with his apostolate. The Association of Salesian Cooperators was set up in 1876 with the help of Pope Piux IX.
A Salesian Cooperator is a lay person who wants to take seriously the living and working for the apostolic project of St. John Bosco. It is a commitment that is born from a deep conviction to follow Christ, inspired by a generous "Salesian Heart", that is able to respond to God's call out of her or his experience of the Salesian charism, educative method and style of relationship.
Cooperators are people who, while maintaining the lay condition, are certain that God is calling them to go beyond helping the Salesian Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, towards becoming "Salesian" in their own right. In short, "true Salesians in the world" (family, workplace, society, the church), the mission of loving and caring for young people, especially the poor and abandoned. It is a response to God's love, brought by the Salesian experience, that is matured from the baptismal call, following a very particular lifestyle - the Salesian style. In this way, the figure of the Cooperator constitutes a model for a lay person to live fully the Salesian Spirit and mission, without the religious vows.
Our Salesian commitment is simply to love the same way we were loved - to be a Salesian loving presence in our family unit, in the families of our Christian communities especially around young people, in being instruments of God's love to them, and bringing God into our places of work and into society. For more information, visit the website http://cooperatori.sdb.org/cooperatori/.