Mary Help of Christians Church
Mary Help of Christians Parish seeks to grow in holiness and deepen our faith in Jesus Christ. Through worship, prayer, community and service we strive to make God known, loved and served. The parish is directed by the Salesians of Don Bosco and follows the spirit of St. John Bosco. We strive to be joyful, youth-friendly and relational.
History of Mary Help of Christians Center
In 1928 Mrs. Alicia Gonzalez Neve donated a few acres of land on East Lake to the Salesians of Don Bosco to open an orphanage for boys. Mrs. Neve gave her property, home and savings to develop the place called Mary Help of Christians. For over 85 years Mary Help has been a place where young and old come to meet Christ and to grow in their faith. For many, it has been a true experience of family. What makes The Mary Help of Christians Center such a special place? The answer: Mary’s Motherly Assistance and The Salesians of Don Bosco.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus is our Mother too. She never lets us down when we go to her for aid. Here at Mary Help of Christians in Tampa—she hears the prayers of those who cry out to her Son Jesus.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Don Bosco and the Salesians
John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815 in a small town near Turin, Italy. His father died when he was two years old. He was raised by his mother, Margaret. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1841 and went to work in Turin, where the industrial revolution was attracting waves of young people to the city. The misery and abandonment of these youngsters moved him deeply. He dedicated his life to them and began homes and schools for them.
In 1859, Don Bosco (Don in Italian means– Father) began a religious congregation in the Catholic Church to continue his work for poor boys. He called this congregation the Salesian Society. It was named after St. Francis de Sales who was known for his kindness and for a simple spirituality that anyone could aquire. Don Bosco chose Mary, the Help of Christians, as the patroness of the Salesian Society.
The style, method and mentality of Don Bosco can be summarized as Faith and Fun become one. He made loving Jesus and following him very joyful. Three key words in his educational philosophy are: reason, religion and kindness. Don Bosco understood where young people were coming from and had the knack for helping them believe in themselves. He helped produce many good Christians and good citizens. John Bosco died on January 31, 1888. He was canonized a saint in 1934.
Prayer to Our Lady, Help of Christians
Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth
You are the mighty and glorious protector of the church.
You are the marvelous help of Christians.
You are awe inspiring as an army in battle array.
In the midst of our anguish, struggle, and distress,
Defend us from the power of the enemy,
And at the hour of our death, receive our soul in Heaven.