From Fr.Ryan ErlenbushSt. John Bosco inspired over 6,000 vocations to the priesthood before his death
January 31st, Feast of St. John Bosco
During Catholic Schools Week, we call to mind the fact that Catholic schools benefit not only the families who send their children there, but the whole Church and all society.
Don Bosco was filled with a great charity for the poor boys of Turin and other cities, and so he dedicated his life to the education and care of street children, delinquents and other poor youths. His devotion to St. Francis de Sales (which led him to dedicate his society to this great Doctor of the Church) directed him to employ gentler teaching methods based on love and kindness rather than punishment.
In addition to providing good education, safety, and religious instruction to the boys, St. John Bosco’s schools provided the young men with the opportunity of discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
The statistics are amazing:
“At the time of Don Bosco's death in 1888 there were 250 houses of the Salesian Society in all parts of the world, containing 130,000 children, and from which there annually went out 18,000 finished apprentices. […] Up to 1888 over six thousand priests had gone forth from Don Bosco's institutions, 1,200 of whom had remained in the society.
He said, "Let us thank the Lord and his holy Mother for having given us the means to do all this good."
There can be no doubt that Catholic schools have played and will continue to play a significant role in producing priests for the Church. For this reason, we all should thank the good Lord for the gift of Catholic schools.
Where are the John Bosco's of today and tomorrow? St.John Bosco, patron of schoolchildren, pray for us.