Having found support for the proposed program in missions lands, Fr. Louis next spoke with members of the Salesian General council. While supportive of the concept, the members were cautious in declaring support for the program, advising a watch and see position before being willing to issue guidelines for provinces to follow. However, Fr. Vigano, the Superior General, wrote to Fr. DeBlase encouraging him to be fully supportive of the program.
Further support of the Lay Missioners program came with the publication of Fr. Vigano’s treatises: “The Lay Element in the Salesian Community” (1980) and, “The Advancement of the Lay Person in the Salesian Family.” (1986)With the publication of these documents, it was clear that the Salesian congregation was to commit itself to more inclusive ministry with the laity serving as an integral element of any Salesian work.
The Salesian Family Strenna of 1986 further reinforced the direction the congregation was moving when all Salesians were encouraged “To foster the Vocation of Lay Persons to Work Among the Young according to the Spirit of Don Bosco.”