Life of a Brave: Triduum Week Reveals New Strenna, “Sharing Our Gifts, Transforming Our World”

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

During Triduum Week, St. John Bosco High School Campus Ministry unveiled a new guiding theme for the year, called a “strenna” (Italian for “gift”), which calls for Braves to embrace their gifts while pursuing improvement and change in the world.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

In a society that is increasingly polarized, this message of combining individual talent with cohesive and unified action is a powerful one. It is consistent with a Bosco community that has thrived being an environment of many perspectives and ideas while retaining the core principles of a Salesian community.

“What any good strenna is meant to do is simultaneously uplift our Salesian family while presenting them with a gentle but concrete call to action,” said Campus Ministry President and senior Ricardo Rodriguez. “The first step in achieving that goal is recognizing and developing a sense of courage and security from the gifts we’ve been blessed with as individuals. Once we do that, we are empowered to point those gifts outward to engage in the Oratory.”

Rodriguez refers to the Oratory system of schooling pioneered by Don Bosco and continued at Salesian institutions around the world – a holistic educative system fostering learning around the tenets of home, school, church and playground.

This year’s strenna calls the Salesian community to action in all four parts of the Oratory. Campus Ministry Vice President and senior Ryan Gutierrez shared ideas about how that call to action can manifest itself in the actions of Bosco’s student body.

“As students of St. John Bosco High School, we can all share our gifts to other students and our community through various ways, such as programs like peer-to-peer tutoring, which allows students talented in various subjects to teach other students,” said Gutierrez.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Of course, the Strenna is all call to action beyond the parameters of the classroom, and many students are already using their talents to contribute to the larger Bosco community.

“Clubs at SJB, such as Key Club and Brothers of Bosco, strive to support their community through park and beach clean-ups, school supply and clothing donations and numerous fundraisers. By utilizing the gifts that God has blessed all of us with, we are able to make our world better,” Gutierrez said. 

The simple yet complex nature of the strenna calls all members of the Bosco community to action. 

“Like any good art, [the strenna] can be interpreted differently by different people while still getting the message across that meaningful impact is something we are all called to do, we are capable of doing and something we can find true joy in,” said Rodriguez.

Joy is something that Don Bosco sought for all of his children. That holistic, Christ-like joy is something that he preached and something that is found from humble service. This year’s strenna is undoubtedly a continuation of that idea, spreading joy through the humble use of one’s talents to better oneself, one’s community and the world at large. 

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