It seems to never end, the constant stream of news about priest pedophiles in the Catholic Church. Reactions range from sadness to outrage and rightly so, since children are vulnerable and adults are expected to be their protectors and mentors. Most adults rise to the occasion and there are many excellent role models for them. Today, the church honors in particular St. John Bosco, a parish priest in 19th century Italy, one who protected and mentored children—in particular young boys. He reached out to the homeless, the uneducated and the spiritually deprived, finding practical ways to help them. For us, his message to these Italian boys rings true over the years: “Here is my formula for sanctity: first, be happy; second, study and pray; third, do good to everyone.” No heroics are called for. John Bosco taught and lived a holy life doing his duty—with love, the compelling force.
by Carol Berg, OSB