Michael Ribotta – The “Big Rat” and the “Mad Priest of Turin”- Don Bosco’s relationship with Prime Minister Rattazzi

Perhaps of all the leading political personages of the Italian Risorgimento with whom Don Bosco enjoyed some measure of friendship, Urbano Rattazzi’s name, like Abou Ben Adam’s, led the rest.

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Michael Ribotta – “School days … golden rule days” … John Bosco’s public school years

The road traveled by John Bosco, as child and teenager, in his quest for an education, proved to be a bumpy one, marked by frequent twists and turns and occasionally stalled by unforeseen roadblocks. But despite occasional disheartening setbacks, John’s high hopes in his pursuit of an education would prevail over disconcerting frustrations.

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Arthur Lenti – Don Bosco’s love affair with “poor and abandoned” young people and the beginnings of the oratory

The present study aims, not at any new interpretation, but simply at describing some aspects of the actual circumstances of the origins on the basis of fresh documentation now available. In particular, restricting the field of inquiry, I will focus on the young people who were protagonists in Don Bosco’s work at its origin.

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Michael Ribotta – The Roman Letter of 1884 and its aftermath

In retrospect, one can appreciate why Don Bosco had become so distraught by the message that was played out in his dream (reverie?) during his Roman sojourn of 1884. His old friends, Joseph Buzzelli and Ferdinando Valfre, had demonstrated all too realistically what he could expect when the educational principles of his Sistema Preventivo and the “love environment” he strove so hard to cultivate for 40 years at the Oratory had been allowed to dissipate.

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Mary Treacy – Mother Marie-Louise-Angelique Clarac and Don Bosco – an idea matures

In the first part of his study on the “Bosco-Gastaldi conflict”, Arthur Lenti drew attention to another figure similarly involved in a painful controversy with the Archbishop of Turin, namely Sr. Marie-Louise-Angelique Clarac, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Mary, also known as the Sisters of Charity of Good Counsel.

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Michael Ribotta – Don Bosco’s history of Italy: a morality play or an exercise in history?

“If Don Bosco during his student years had one special preference, it was for reading history,” noted Father Alberto Caviglia in his exhaustive study of Don Bosco’s Storia d’ Italia. “In fact, one can say he had a predilection for historical studies”.

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Michael Ribotta,Natale Cerrato – EXPO’ 84 and Don Bosco’s peerless-to- paper-to-print presentation

Turin’s EXPO ’84 was to become the bittersweet culmination of Don Bosco’s remarkable and varied career as publisher, author, and printer.

For almost 40 years he had been active in the cause of the Catholic press and as editor of educational publications.

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