Around Bosco: Brave Community Celebrates Both Father Lenti and the Feast of St. John Bosco

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

Today is not only the feast day of St. John Bosco, but also the birthday of Fr. Arthur Lenti, who was gentle, kind-hearted and a great role model to the school.

Photo by Michael Bartelt

St. John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in Italy. He became a role model for young children and most importantly helped underprivileged children to reach their full potential. This was his moral mission from a young age, and he always looked out for children his entire life.

At the age of eleven, St. John Bosco had a dream that changed the course of his life and many others’. In this dream, he was in a field, with a lot of kids fighting, and he saw Mary, who taught him how he could win the children over and how to guide them. After that dream, he went on to help children and later start an oratory for the underprivileged children of the region.

St. John Bosco High School is of course modeled off of the views and methods of its namesake, St. John Bosco, and the teachers and faculty do everything they can to create the same environment for the students as St. John Bosco did for his children. St. John Bosco High School’s Fr. Ted Montemayor is well-versed on St. John Bosco’s life.

“I do think that St. John Bosco’s spirit is very alive here at Bosco. I think that a lot of teachers have seriously taken to heart the philosophy of St. John Bosco,” said Fr. Montemayor.

However, the value of St. John Bosco High School doesn’t end in the classrooms as the faculty and staff work outside of the classroom to make the students feel at home when they are at school. St. John Bosco felt that if people were treated with love and kindness, then they will feel at home and respected, that is something that Fr. Arthur Lenti exhibited every day to the people around him.

Fr. Lenti spent a large amount of time studying the life of St. John Bosco and trying to take the teachings of St. John Bosco and pass them on to the present-day population. Not only was he able to educate people on St. John Bosco’s teachings, but he also resembled Bosco in his character.

“He was a kind man, and he was a gentleman. When I was in his presence and after I walked away, I always felt very encouraged,” said Fr. Ted.

Fr. Lenti was very important at keeping St. John Bosco’s spirit alive, as well as the traditions and teachings of St. John Bosco. Though he was very kind and a gentleman, what many people did not know was how smart and educated he was. 

“He was quite a scholar. People didn’t realize he wrote some books and was very, very knowledgeable. He could speak four languages and he was a very well-rounded man,” said Fr. Ted.

Though Fr. Lenti was not working with young people at a large amount, he kept St. John Bosco alive through his studies. He authored a seven-volume life of St. John Bosco book series where he was able to take St. John Bosco as a human being rather than another saint in heaven. He was able to make St. John Bosco someone who was relatable, and because of this, inspired many people to carry on his teachings.

“I think for the whole world, not just us here in California, he has done a wonderful service of bringing St. John Bosco alive through the written word as someone that’s relatable,” said Fr. Ted.

Both Fr. Lenti and St. John Bosco will be celebrated and remembered for years to come as gentle and kind men who have inspired so many to help make everyone, no matter what their situation is, feel welcome and at home wherever they may be.

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