Arthur J. Lenti, SDB

Arthur J. Lenti, SDB

Co-Founder, Professor Emeritus

Professional Bio:

  • First Profession: 1941
  • Priestly Ordination: 1950

Fr. Arthur’s professional career has mostly consisted of teaching higher education, including: Salesian College, Aptos, CA & St. Francis Seminary, Watsonville, CA (1954 – 1960), and the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, OH, (1967-1975). He also taught at St. Mary’s College, Providence College, and Aquinas College during summer semesters. Fr. Arthur then went to the Salesian pontifical University in Rome to focus on Salesian Research. He then became one of the founders of the Institute of Salesian Studies in Berkeley, CA, and has  been continuing his research and teaching Salesian Studies there ever since.

An accurate knowledge of Jesus in Holy Scripture is the pledge of salvation.

Max Zerwick, SJ Biblical Scholar

Research Interests

Fr. Arthur teaches two courses on Don Bosco’s life and work. However he is also interested in Old Testament study, with an emphasis on its historical background.

In 2010, Fr. Arthur completed a seven-volume work entitled Don Bosco, History and Spirit, on the life of John Melchior Bosco (“Don Bosco,” 1815-1888). The first three volumes survey the life and times of John Melchior Bosco (“Don Bosco,” 1815-1888) up to 1864, with particular attention to nineteenth-century political, social and religious history. This survey looks at Don Bosco’s own education, at his spiritual and theological formation. It examines the growth of the work, and the founding and initial development of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, in the context of the liberal revolution and the unification of Italy (1848-1861).

The next four volumes describe Don Bosco’s life and work in the period following the unification of Italy. In this setting Don Bosco, History and Spirit discusses the institutional developments and organization of the Salesian Society. It describes Don Bosco’s further ministerial choices, and surveys the expansion of the Salesian work. At the same time it examines the development of permanent structures to guarantee the continuance of the Salesian work, and discusses some of the founder’s insights and ideas, especially as they emerge from the reflective writings of his maturity.

The seventh and final volume in the series, now available for purchase, surveys Don Bosco’s life and activity in the late seventies and eighties, roughly his last dozen years. These are his mature, reflective years; they are also the years of his quasi-retirement, gradually giving way to his sunset years. The volume concludes with the long-awaited general index of the series, a thorough and comprehensive fifty-eight page text, with 3 sections —places, persons, and topics.

Select Publications

  • Don Bosco: History and Spirit. Vol. 7, Don Bosco’s Golden Years. Roma: LAS – Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 2010.
  • Don Bosco. History and Spirit. A critical survey of the life and times of Saint John Bosco (1815-1888). Roma: LAS – Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 2007-2010.
  • Don Bosco. His Pope and His Bishop, The Trials of a Founder. Roma: LAS – Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 2006.
  • “Madonnas for Times of Trouble . . . Mary under the Titles of Immaculate Conception and Help of Christians.” Journal of Salesian Studies 11:1 (2000) 1-62.
  • “Politics of the ‘Our Father’ and the Holy Father: Don Bosco Mediation in Church-State Affairs.” Journal of Salesian Studies 10:2 (1999) 181-245.
  • “Don Bosco’s Love Affair with ‘Poor and Abandoned’ Young People and the Beginning of the Oratory.” Journal of Salesian Studies 6:1 (1995) 1-80.
  • “The Bosco-Gastaldi Conflict . . . from 1874 to the Enforce Reconciliation (Concordia) 9n 1882.” Journal of Salesian Studies 5:1 (1994) 35-131.
  • “The Convitto Ecclesiastico-‘Where One Learnt to Be a Priest’.” Journal of Salesian Studies3:1 (1992) 39-77.
  • “Don Bosco’s Vocation-Mission Dream-Its Recurrence and Significance.” Journal of Salesian Studies 2:1 (1991) 43-156.


STD (Honoris Causa): DSPT
SSL: Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome)
STL: Pontificia Università Salesiana (Rome)
STL: Salesian Pontifical Atheneum (Turin)
BA: Don Bosco College (NJ)

Contact Fr. Arthur

We shall meet all in Heaven.

Don Bosco Saint, Founder