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Sean Fitzpatrick (’02)Sean Fitzpatrick (’02)In honor of St. John Bosco, whose feast the Church celebrates today, Sean Fitzpatrick (’02) has penned an article for Catholic Exchange. In St. John Bosco and the Danger of Tolerance, Mr. Fitzpatrick praises the saint’s judicious balance of lenience and stringency in ministering to the boys in his care:

The young clung to St. John Bosco because he was not afraid to tolerate youthful vigor and tomfoolery. Most teachers are not so brave. Even less are brave enough to be intolerant of evil. Don Bosco understood the nature and spirit of adolescence, knowing therefore the critical, and even dangerous, balance between order and disorder, between discipline and spontaneity, between good and evil. Prudence was first and foremost for him, for it was only by this virtue that his boys could truly find happiness and holiness. To John Bosco, nothing was so important as this joy. Without joy, nothing can be truly learned, lived, or loved. Don Bosco knew this deeply, and so brought joy to everything he did with his boys, from soccer to the Sacraments, but all the while, defended his boys from those who would destroy the joy he fostered. He was not tolerant when intolerance was called for, and this was a part of his genius.

As the headmaster of Gregory the Great Academy, an all-boys boarding high school in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Fitzpatrick knows well of what he writes. And, no doubt, relies heavily on the intercession of St. John Bosco in his duties.

St. John Bosco, pray for us!