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Salesian Tribe

What is a Salesian Tribe?

The Salesian Tribe is a community made up of 4-5 Homeroom groups. In total, St. John Bosco High School has nine Salesian Tribes. These groups are made up of students that represent all grade levels. All Salesian Tribe names are based on a Salesian patron - someone who had a significant connection and/or role in the history of Salesian life and culture.

Goals of the Salesian Tribe Community

  1. To Assist in Male, Salesian, and Catholic Formation
    • Tribes meet to discuss and share in order to develop Catholic identity and school culture.
  2. To Strengthen Community
    • The Salesian Tribe helps each student connect with a smaller school community. Each student is assigned to one of the nine Tribes.
    • The Tribe allows students to meet and bond with students from other grade levels.
    • The Tribe allows older students the opportunity to mentor younger students.
    • It allows students to unite, share, and celebrate special events such as monthly mass, assemblies, feast days, and St. John Bosco High School Service Day.
  3. To Foster School Spirit
    • Spirited and brotherly competition engages and unites students within their Tribe and school. The Salesian Tribe system uses competition to promote school spirit, raise awareness, and motivate students to participate in games and charity drives. Tribes that excel in participation and competition will be recognized at specific events and also at the end of the year.
  4. To Provide Leadership Opportunities
    • The Tribe provides opportunities for students to take part in Homeroom Tribe leadership. Each Homeroom is appointed a Student Animator. Student Animators lead Homeroom meetings, discussions, and provide valuable input to ASB and school planning/events.
  5. To Provide Service Opportunities
    • Each Tribe takes part in special events throughout the year. A key event is the St. John Bosco High School Service Day which allows each Tribe to participate in a project such working in a food bank or performing community beautification (painting, graffiti removal, river/nature center and beach clean-up). The Tribe can also serve as the hub for special collection activities such as food, toys, and emergency funds and/or supplies.

Salesian Tribes and Patrons


Francis Bessuco

A youth of natural, humility Francis looked upon his peers at Don Bosco’s oratory as more virtuous than himself, and he rated himself poorly when comparing his conduct with theirs. Don Bosco told him, “If you want to be good, practise three things only and all will go well: Cheerfulness, Study, and Piety. Following these you will be able to live happily and do a lot of good for your soul”. Besucco's diligence in all his duties, even the smallest made him exemplary in everything. Francis showed his great love for the Blessed Sacrament not only by going frequently to Communion, but whenever an occasion presented itself.

He would serve Mass very willingly. He took delight in preparing the altar, lighting the candles, taking out the cruets and in helping the priest to vest.


Blessed Michael Rua

Michael Rua was born on 9th June 1837, the last of nine children. He entered Don Bosco’s Oratory in 1852. He was among the first few with whom Don Bosco shared the idea of forming the ‘Salesian Society’. For 36 years he was Don Bosco’s closest collaborator in the development of the Congregation. At the explicit request of Don Bosco, Pope Leo XIII designated him to succeed our Founder and confirmed him as Rector Major in 1888. Don Rua was known for his fatherliness and goodness. As the numbers of members and communities increased he sent Salesians all over the world, showing special care for the missionary expeditions. In the long journeys which he undertook to visit the Salesian works in Europe and in the Middle East he was a constant source of comfort and encouragement. His memory is celebrated on 29th October.


Sean Devereux

Sean Devereux was an English Salesian missionary and aid worker murdered in Somalia in 1993 while working for UNICEF. He has since become an important role model for the aid-working vocation, particularly among Christians. Sean was educated at Salesian College in England and became a popular teacher for two academic years before doing missionary work in Africa. He arrived in Liberia in February 1989 and began work with the Salesian community at St. Francis School. He was imprisoned after pleading for the release of a student drafted into the army as a child-soldier. Later, he was ordered out of the country in September 1992 and Devereux duly left for Sierra Leone. Sean then began working with UNICEF in Somalia where he was assigned to organise relief for the starving, particularly children. After only four months in the country, Devereux was fatally shot in the back and the back of the head by a hired gunman while walking near the UNICEF compound on Saturday, January 2 1993.


Saint Dominic Savio

On the occasion of his First Communion, at the age of seven, he set out his life's vision: "I will go to Confession frequently and Communion as often as my confessor allows. I want to make Sundays and feast days holy. My friends will be Jesus and Mary. Death but not sin". At twelve, Don Bosco accepted him into the Oratory in Turin and Dominic asked his help in order to "become a saint". Gentle, serene and happy, he put great effort into fulfilling his duties as a student and helping his companions in every way he could, teaching them Catechism, assisting the sick and settling quarrels. One day he said to a companion, who had just arrived in the Oratory: "You should know that here we make holiness consist in being always cheerful. We just try to avoid sin, which is the great enemy that robs us of the grace of God and peace of heart, and we try to fulfil our duties exactly."


Bartholomew Garelli

In the church of St Francis of Assisi in Turin, on December 8, 1841, Don Bosco met Bartholomew Garelli, a local homeless boy. Garelli had wandered into the sacristy seeking anything but religion. It was freezing out and he needed some warmth! The sacristan chased him out, but Don Bosco reprimanded the man and had him bring the boy, who was now terrified, back to him. Don Bosco showed kindness to him and began a conversation. This began Don Bosco's worldwide campaign to bring young people to God. He told Bartholomew to stay for Mass. After Mass Don Bosco told the boy, "Next Sunday, you bring your friends here, and we'll spend the day together." The next Sunday, four ragged boys, looking badly in need of a meal and warm clothing, came to Don Bosco. They were certainly in very dire spiritual need. And their number multiplied in a few weeks, and this became the beginning of the “Wandering Oratory” as Don Bosco called it.


Roderick Flores

Roderick, Erick to his friends, was 15, but like Dominic Savio, he was a spiritually mature person. The scouts from the Don Bosco Technical College in the Philippines, were having a three day campout. On the first afternoon of August 18, 1984, Roderick and another senior noticed that two juniors were in trouble with cramps while they were swimming. They immediately jumped in and reached the juniors. A strong current carried them further out. At this point Roderick also got a cramp. The other senior then got Roderick and one of the other juniors to the river bank and turned back for the other junior. The waves were even rougher, and took the senior and the junior both under.

Roderick, still suffering from leg cramps, saw what was happening and with a spirit of great generosity plunged again into the rough waters again to help. Roderick saved them both, but the powerful current overcame him at the last moment and swept him away. His body was finally found a week later. How had it been possible for a “normal” boy to behave like that: putting his own life at risk to save that of another? Monsignor Panfilo, rector, confessor and friend of Erick said: “Roderick Flores isn’t a hero because he generously dived in to help someone in danger. That action was the culmination of a long series of countless gestures of selfless concern for others during the 15 years of his life. He is a hero because he practiced the discipline of serving, loving, of being generous.”


Michael Magone

Magone was a poor thirteen year old without a father and a mother who was so busy providing bread for the family that she couldn’t look after him, so he spent his time on the streets with all the local hooligans. The first time Don Bosco heard Michael’s voice; it was the voice of a leader whose commands demanded respect and obedience. At the oratory, Michael started going to confession and begins to frequent the sacraments and began to put his soul in order. In recreation he was like an unbridled horse. Michael's fiery nature, his vivid imagination, his heart full of affections naturally made him a lively lad and, at first sight, distracted. By constant effort he learned self-control.

As we have already said, he was completely at home during recreation. In a few moments after beginning a game all corners of the courtyard echoed to the sound of his feet. There was no game in which he did not excel. But once the bell went for study, classes, rest, meals, church functions, he at once broke off what he was doing and ran to do his duty. He was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Michael Magone was an adventurous and energy filled young boy. He was known for his support of the younger students at Don Bosco’s Oratory and his great capacity for leadership.


Zefferino Namuncurá

Zefferino Namuncurá was born on the 26th August 1886, into an Indian tribe in what is now Argentina. He was sent to study in Buenos Aires at a Salesian school. The family spirit in the Salesian school brought him to love Don Bosco. Zefferino began to yearn to become a Salesian priest to evangelize his native people. He was exemplary for his piety, charity, in his daily duty, and for his self-sacrifice.As a teen he was taken to Italy so he could continue his priestly studies. In Italy he met Don Rua, the first successor Don Bosco and Pope Pius X, who gave him his blessing. He went to school in Turin and then to the Salesian College. He studied so hard he was second in the class. but he came down with a life-threatening illness: tuberculosis. On the 28th March 1905 he was taken to the hospital on in Rome, but it was too late. He died peacefully on the 11th May. His memorial is kept each year on August 26th.


Blessed Albert Marvelli

Alberto Marvelli was born at Ferrari on 21st March 1918, the second of seven brothers. Later, he began to attend the Salesian Oratory. He was always available and became a catechist and leader: the Salesians’ right arm. He loved to play all kinds of sports. He joined the Oratory group for Catholic Action soon becoming its parish president. In June 1942 he graduated from college as an engineer and began working with Fiat in Turin. He did his military service and succeeded in bringing many of his friends to Mass. During the Second World War he became an apostle amongst displaced persons and a real source of providence for the poor. His Marian and Eucharistic devotion really were the supporting columns in his life: “What a new world opens up to me contemplating Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament”, he wrote in his diary. Each time I receive Holy Communion, each time Jesus in his divinity and humanity enters into me, in contact with my soul, it awakens holy ideas in me, a burning and consuming flame, but one that makes me so happy!”. He died when he was hit by an army truck on October 5th 1946. He was, as Don Bosco wanted, a good Christian and upright citizen, committed to the Church and society with a Salesian heart. As a youth his motto was: We go forward or we die.