Around Bosco: Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime Visits St. John Bosco High School
by Noah Dawson
Prior to the Thanksgiving break, the Tenth Successor of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, also known as the Rector Major, came to our campus to share with us his story and offer blessings to St. John Bosco’s students and staff.
Father Fernandez was born on August 21st 1960 in Luanco-Gozon, Asturias, Spain and was ordained a priest on July 4th, 1987 in Leon, France. He went on to become the Provincial Superior of South Argentina in 2009, meaning he would oversee the religious operation for the Salesians in Argentina from Buenos Aires. He then went on to climb the ranks of the Church when he was appointed Superior of the new Province of Mediterranean Spain, dedicated to “Mary Help of Christians.”
He continued and took upon himself a new role on March 25th, 2014, when he was elected as the new Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation and the Tenth Successor of Don Bosco. The Rector Major position is one of the highest honors one can receive in the Salesian order, and the position holds much responsibility and power.
“The Rector Major is the succession of Don Bosco himself and has the expectation to not only continue but build upon Don Bosco’s mission,” said St. John Bosco’s Spiritual Director, Father Ted Montemayor.
In the much anticipated visit, the Rector Major held a community prayer and a speech to the staff and students in the Bosco Thunderdome. Through his speech, he spoke on the importance of being a contributing member of the community we all inhabit and following in the footsteps and example of Don Bosco in every aspect of our lives.
While this has had a deep impact on everyone from students to teachers, our Dean of Attendance, Mrs. Margie Woods, felt particularly blessed, as this was her first experience with a Rector Major.
“Well, I followed him, of course, from the quad to the parking lot. Honestly, just around everywhere. He’s such a pleasant person to be around,” said Mrs. Woods.
After the Rector Major’s assembly, the school celebrated the Culture Fair, and Fr. Artime even climbed up to the Bosco Victory Bell and rang it for all our students to see. Even when the people around him told him to continue on because had a plane to catch, he insisted on staying to talk to the students and staff. Showing the care and attention that he has for Bosco’s mission.
He actively put the education and experiences of the youth in front of all other needs, mirroring Don Bosco, the very saint which the Rector Major succeeds. Father Ángel Fernández Artime’s visit has deeply impacted the school community and rekindled Salesian love throughout the school.