Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (34)

by Kenny Cheng

St. John Bosco had to make an important decision after becoming a priest: should he accept a well-paying teaching position, teach catechesis to the villagers, or stay to help with parish duties? His spiritual director, St. Joseph Cafasso, advised him to reject all three options and instead study free of charge at the priestly formation centre he taught at. The formation centre was in the northern Italian industrial city of Turin, where many people moved from the countryside in search of work. But on finding little work, many fell into crime and vice. Joseph Cafasso took John Bosco with him to visit the prison inmates. John Bosco also had the opportunity to visit a hospital founded by St. Joseph Cottolengo. Seeing children wasting their best years behind bars and on hospital beds due to sinful self-indulgence, John Bosco was much grieved and yearned to care for them and teach them the faith. St. Joseph Cottolengo saw John Bosco’s vocation to serve the youths and told him to get a thicker cassock so that it would not be torn by the grasping of desperate youths.

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