New Rector Major: Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB

It is with great joy that we welcome the 10th successor of Don Bosco, Ángel Fernández Artime.

The following is a repost from ANS:

(ANS – Rome) - The 27th General Chapter has elected Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Provincial of Southern Argentina, as new Rector Major and Tenth Successor of Don Bosco.

The election took place at 10.20 a.m., on the first ballot, and was welcomed  with long applause. Fr Pascual Chávez, President of the Assembly, invited Fr Angel to come beside him, and said: “Dear Fr Ángel, through your confreres God has called you today to be the successor of Don Bosco. You are not called to be like the Rector Major, nor Don Vecchi nor Don Viganó. You are the successor of Don Bosco, not of Don Chavez. So, on behalf of the Chapter, I ask you if you accept.”

Speaking in Spanish, Fr Angel said with an emotional heart: “I abandon myself to the Lord. We ask Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians to accompany us and to accompany me, with my brother Salesians and with the Congregation, and I accept with faith.”

The new Rector Major began right away to receive the embrace of all the Chapter members.

video is available on the ANSchannel.


It is also with sincere appreciation that we thank Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva for his amazing 12 years of service as the ninth successor of Don Bosco!

Draw Upon the Spiritual Experience of Don Bosco

Bicentenary_logo_english-largeIn honor of Don Bosco’s Feast day, and in line with this years study theme in preparation for the celebration of the bicentenary of Don Bosco’s Birth (16 August 2015), we have put together this collection of articles from the Journal of Salesian Studies.

We invite you, then, to take a few moments in the coming weeks to read, reflect and pray with an article or two, in order to take to heart Fr. Pascual Chavez‘s invitation:

Let us draw upon the spiritual experience of Don Bosco, in order to walk in holiness according to our specific vocation.
(Strenna 2014) Continue reading

Saint Francis de Sales Articles


In honor of Saint Francis de Sales, our patron whose feast we celebrate on 24 January, the Journal of Salesian Studies has made available a selection of articles for your study, enjoyment, and spiritual growth. A few are directly related to the Gentle Saint, and a few show his influence in the Bosconian branch of the Salesian family. Pass them along :-)

What is to Be Done with the Januaries of Our Lives?

-Fr. John Roche, SDB

christmastree624x416I will admit that I do not like January. I can’t complain about the bitter cold, ice or snow since we are spoiled out here in California, but nonetheless, January is the take-Christmas-down period of the year.

It’s true that the liturgical season of Christmas extends nearly two weeks into the month, but it does not feel like it. The radio stations halted their Christmas music by midnight on Christmas Day, store decorations have already shifted to Valentine’s Day and many curbs are cluttered with ousted Christmas trees.

The emotional build-up is jolted by this shut-down. And no matter how much I prepare for this shift, I feel it more and more each year. I suppose there is something of the half-empty or half-full debate going on inside my head. Certainly God’s gift of his Son is something that extends beyond decorations, parties, gifts and music stations. But it is harder to embrace in the hum-drum of everyday life.

So what is to be done with the Januaries of our lives? Continue reading

Support the Digital Republication Project

The first 25 issues of the Journal of Salesian Studies are in the process of digital republication, but we cannot do this without your support!

How to help:

  1. Pray     Please pray for the success of this project, your prayers do make a difference!
  2. Pledge     Visit our kickstarter page & pledge your financial support
  3. Promote     Tell you friends about this project, and post the kickstarter link on your facebook page

Find out more on our project page.

The Goal:

To digitally republish past issues of the Journal of Salesian Studies (in both searchable PDF format, and online academic journal format) in order to make the Salesian spirit and charism more readily available to the Church, to academia, and to the world.

Funding Goal:

Phase 1 funding goal as been reached, let’s go for phase 2!

There are two funding goals. The first phase of the project required $2,200 in pledges. This threshold has been reached thanks you the generosity of our kickstarter backers! We can now begin the work-study program and publish the past issues in a searchable PDF format.

The second phase will make the Journal available in an online academic journal format. Continue reading

Farewell & Early Christmas Dinner 2013

As the semester and year come to a close, we say our farewells to the community members who will be traveling back to their communities after their stay here at Don Bosco Hall: Fathers Francois, Gustavo, Mario, Michal, and Sisters Nancy and Paulina! May God bless you all on the journey and mission ahead of you.

See the pictures here.

Farewell and Early Christmas DinnerFall2013




November Saints!

A blog post by Fr. John Roche, SDB   Director:

All Saints

My grandmother died when I was nine years old.  I was very close to her.  She was, in many ways, like a second mother for me and for my siblings.  She lived in our house and I slept in the double bed with her.  She was always so interested in everything happening in our lives and would listen with such pleasure to our daily adventures each time we came home from school.  For the key moments in my life, she was there: first communion, summer-time fireworks and watermelon, back-to-school uniforms, Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas holidays.  On that March day when she felt weak and dizzy and went to bed in the middle of the day, none of us realized it would be her last moments with us.  A heart attack took her from our home and family that late afternoon before my father, her son, could get home from work.  The house was never the same after that.

In those innocent days, I had many dreams about my grandmother and for some reason I never shared those dreams until I was much older.  Something in me intuited that they were almost secret messages sent to bring me hope.  From one dream to the next, her messages seemed clearer and clearer that she was very happy and at peace and that she continued to be a part of our lives.  For me, then, it was not hard to understand the communion of saints nor to believe in their intercession in our lives.  The familiarity and intimacy I felt for my grandmother remained and still remains to this day.  Along the journey of my own life, I have felt her presence and her prayers.  To that company, I have added my father, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  It has always remained with me that we have friends in heaven.  They are not merely fond memories, but active and living members in the House of God interceding for each one of us.

The Feast of All Saints is a special feast that stands at the head of a month in which we pray for the deceased among our family and friends.  Continue reading

Blessed Michael Rua: Anecdote & Homily

An Anecdote

Blessed Michael Rua

Blessed Michael Rua

Fr. J.B. Francesia speaks of Fr. Rua as of a man or deep prayer. Always first at his place in church for the community meditation, he would kneel motionless throughout, with his face resting on the palms of his hands, holding a white handkerchief.

On February 23, 1887 early in the morning, an earthquake struck that was felt throughout northwestern Italy, in Turin and beyond. Father Francesia goes on the relate Fr. Alexander Lucchelli’s eyewitness account of the earthquake. Continue reading

Getting to Know ISS Participants


Left to right: Fr. Chuyen Nguyen, Fr. John Roche, Fr. Gustavo Cavagnari, Fr. Gaetano Riolo, Fr. François Dufour, Fr. Michal Vojtas
(Lake Tahoe outing)

Fr. Mario Perresson (Right)

Fr. Mario Perresson (Right)

The richness of these Salesians from all over the world continues to present a key component to the experience of Salesian Ongoing Formation.  The fall 2013 semester has brought to the ISS two provincials, one finishing his term and another taking a break between two terms.  Fr. Mario Peresson of Bogotá has completed his term as provincial in the Bogotá Province in Colombia (there is also a Province in Medellin).  Fr. Mario indicates that the Rector Major has granted him this break at the ISS.  Fr. Chavez has also given permission to Fr. François Dufour to take a four month break before taking up a second term as Provincial in the South African Province.

This semester is also enriched with the gentle presence of Fr. Gaetano Riolo from Australia, who plans to take both semesters of the ISS.  Continue reading

Fr. Giuseppe’s ISS Experience

Fr. Guiseppe Pellizzari receives his Certificate in Theological Studies with a Salesian Studies Concentration. (Fr. Joe Boenzi left)

Fr. Guiseppe Pellizzari receives his Certificate in Theological Studies with a Salesian Studies Concentration. (Fr. Joe Boenzi Right)

Fr. Giuseppe Pellizzari, a Salesian who was the first provincial of Moscow in Russia, andwho came for the Spring 2013 semester to the ISS shares his reflections on his experience:


In retrospect, I must thank you all, Salesian confrere and guests, for my happy four-month stay at Don Bosco Hall.

All the ingredients for a pleasant experience have been there. First of all Berkeley, or the sunny side of the Bay, as it is rightly called: a unique place to unwind after years of exertion. We even had the cocktail before dinner sometimes as an extra, welcome help in relaxing.


I know, our good old Horace would wisely say, “sky, not spirit or soul, do they change, those who cross the sea’ (in the elegant original Latin: caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt).  I agree, but still the new sky over me helped me discover new things in me and others. I discovered the beauty and the challenge of  lifelong and third-age learning. I could read the same page several times at relatively short intervals and find it new and interesting each time! Jokes aside, I never got bored for a very important reason  of course: I loved the subjects I was taking, so close were they to my concrete situation, i.e. that of a Salesian working in Russia. Continue reading