Our founder is Fr Philip Rinaldi, Don Bosco’s third successor.

It is said that he was so engaged with the spirit and style of Don Bosco, that he only needed Don Bosco’s voice to be identical to him.
He was involved in many lay groups which could be traced back to Salesian spirituality.

Don Rinaldi started the first group of consecrated lay women in 1917. At the time, such groups were still not officially recognised by the Church.

However, like many saints, he knew how to seize the signs of the Spirit, and the year 1919 welcomed the consecration of the first seven young women.

Following Don Rinaldi’s death, the first associates found themselves without a guide. They however continued to be loyal to their vocation, and kept “the fire alive beneath the ashes”. The year 1956 saw the beginning of a rebirth and consolidation of the group.

In 1978, the Institute of the Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB) was recognised as a Secular Institute with Pontifical rights.


Our discipleship is realised in everyday life, in each event and where we live. It is in this way that we live in union with God and seek to give Christ to the World