As a catechist, I have a special place in my heart for St. John Bosco. He is one of the premier models of what we are called to be as teachers of the Faith. Bosco had a very Christ-like ability to draw all people to himself (even the rowdiest street kids) so as to change their lives and convert their hearts to Christ. The boys under his care loved him so much that they couldn't stand the thought of doing anything to disappoint him, and they knew that all he wanted for them was that they live good and holy lives.
What we learn from Bosco's approach and methodology is that the person of the catechist is just as important as orthodox teaching. You can have all of your facts straight, but if the children don't see that the Truth is something that enlivens you and informs every decision that you make -- if they don't see that you are committed to the very salvation of their souls -- then they won't give your words any more than a passing thought. Street kids know when they're getting fed a line. They know who the phonies are, the teachers who just clock in for their 9 to 5 and could give 2 cents about them. In St. John Bosco they saw someone different, someone who truly loved and cared for them.
If I could only have half the passion, zeal, and charisma that St. John Bosco had ...
St. John Bosco, "Apostle of Youth" ... pray for us.
- Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. John Bosco, priest
- New Advent: St. John Bosco
- Patron Saints Index: John Bosco
- Wikipedia: John Bosco
- Iuvenum Patris (On the Centenary of the Death of St. John Bosco) [also here]
- The Blessed Friend of Youth: St. John Bosco by Neil Boyton, S.J.
- Don Bosco: Seeker of Souls
- Pope Urges Salesians to Study Founder
- The Four Pillars of Salesian Spirituality
- The Life and Work of St. John Bosco
- The Secret of St. John Bosco
- Unholy Anger: Disciplining Ourselves Before Disciplining Our Children
- Youth Ministry and Parenting: Guiding Principles by St. John Bosco
- St. John Bosco's Pastoral Approach
- The Preventive System
- Memoirs of Don Bosco
- Getting to Know Don Bosco: Parts One -- Two -- Three -- Four -- Five
- Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact comic books:
- The Dreams of St. John Bosco
- The "Dream" of the Two Columns
- The Preventative System Applied to Young People at Risk
- Preface from The Companion of Youth
- Life of Dominic Savio by Fr. John Bosco
- Close-Up View of John Bosco: When He Was a Farm-Hand
- Narrative Spirituality and Pedagogy in Some of Don Bosco’s Important Texts: Method of Approach and Tools for Interpretation
- Reason, Religion, and Loving-Kindness
- Heroes and Pioneers: Kindness
- An Exhortation to Educators
- A Letter from Don Bosco (1883)
- Memoirs of the Oratory, by St. John Bosco
- Who Is St. John Bosco?