1914 – 1918


#26 |The Great War

PANEL 26: The Great War

Photo 1: The first group of orphans of the Don Bosco Orphanage in Pinerolo-Monte Oliveto (1916)

Photo 2: The stable of the orphanage

Photo 3: A wagon donated to the Institute

Photo 4: Physical education class at the orphanage.

Photo 4: The orphans donning the “Alpini” uniform

Photo 5: Card. Cagliero visits the orphanage in 1918

Fr. Albera’s Story

From the letter of Fr. Paul Albera to Prime Minister Salandra:

“Your Excellency, whenever some misfortune struck our homeland, the Venerable Don John Bosco and his worthy successor, the Rev. Michael Rua, were prompt to put their works at the service of the common good.
In our times, the number of poor, orphaned and destitute children is increasing daily. I believe the time has come to serve our homeland by addressing the needs of so many poor children in a more immediate and effective way…
To this end, I have decided to open a special institute for youngsters from eight to twelve years of age who are abandoned, either because they have no mother and their father is in the army, or because they have lost their father at war. I have designated a large building located on Monte Oliveto, a pleasant hill near Pinerolo, for this purpose.
I am confident that you will lend the full weight of your authority in support of this initiative, given that its goal of educating and instructing youngsters to become honest and hard-working citizens is in the best interests of the homeland”.

Salesian Bulletin, 40 (May 1916), 131

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