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vdb.gifVDB stands for Volunteers of Don Bosco who make a commitment to an all-embracing and exciting way of life.

The Volunteer is a woman who

  • chooses to be a gift to others;
  • dedicates her life to Christ in the world;

a lay-person, who, conscious of her baptismal consecration, is committed to live and love like Christ in poverty, chastity and obedience.

She does not separate herself from the world, her environment, her work, or her family. Rather, it is in all of these that she lives her radical commitment to love.

The Volunteer of Don Bosco is called by God to remain and immerse herself in her milieu, without any distinguishing external sign, except an unbound love to ordain everything to God. (Cf LG 31)

She does not carry out her mission unaided, but in communion with other like-minded persons.

To be in the world, for the world, but not of the world.

Christ came into the world, became flesh and became one with sinful humanity to transform it from within and to permeate it with His sanctity: He “Christifies” it and “makes all things new”.

The same love of God calls and sends out the Volunteer to live in the world so that all created reality becomes consecrated and ordained to Him.

The Volunteer, a lay person in every sense, wishes to remain in the world to change it from within, through a silent, yet persevering presence.

It is an active presence: attentive to listening and grasping the essence of reality to take it upon herself to redeem it, and imbue it with values so as to transform it according to Christ’s own mind.

The VDB does not reveal herself as a consecrated person. She lives an ordinary life while maintaining anonymity as to her consecration. Thus she is able to work better and with greater effectiveness especially in difficult and front line situations.

The Volunteer chooses to lead her life according to the spirit of Don Bosco, with specific characteristics which distinguish her from other consecrated lay persons belonging to other Secular Institutes.

The VDB has a practical style and an apostolic dynamism: at the same time, she lives a profound interior life. She discovers God and contemplates Him in every person. She gives particular attention to youth, especially to those who are poorer and abandoned. She adopts Don Bosco’s preventive system based on reason, religion and loving kindness. Thus, her way of relating is grounded in an interior balance, a clarity of behaviour and a serious commitment.

blessed-filippo-rinaldi.jpgWhen Blessed Philip Rinaldi, 3rd successor of Don Bosco, started the first group of Salesian consecrated lay women in 1917, there was no such group recognized in the Church. But saints know how to read the signs of the Spirit, and in 1919, the first seven young ladies consecrated their lives to God. That was the foundation of what is today, the Volunteers of Don Bosco. The journey was long. As the years passed, the groups multiplied in Italy and elsewhere. On January 31st, 1971 the VDBs were formally recognized as an Institute of diocesan right. On August 5th, 1978 Pope Paul VI signed the decree which established the VDBs as a Secular Institute of Pontifical Right.

The VDBs are now present in all continents

Contact person

Fr Charles Said sdb
St Patrick’s Salesian School
St John Bosco Street
Sliema Malta
Tel. No.: 21330238