(New Rochelle, N.Y. – December 8) – During his many years laboring over the English translation of The Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco, Fr. Diego Borgatello maintained his contact with the young—counseling them, challenging them in chess, taking them on outings, and praying with them. Since Fr. Diego’s death in April 1994, every December the men—no longer young men—who counted themselves as his young friends gather in New Rochelle to celebrate a memorial Mass for him and share their memories of the good that he did to them when they were his altar boys at St. Joseph’s Parish and/or students at Salesian High School. So on the evening of December 7, almost 40 of them, including some friends and family members, came together for the 24th time in the chapel of Salesian High School. The gathering is so large now that they can no longer use the chapel in the provincial residence.
Fr. John Serio, president of Salesian High School and a longtime friend of “Diego’s Boys,” celebrated the Mass on the vigil of Mary Immaculate, recalling Don Bosco’s meeting with Bartholomew Garelli on another feast of the Immaculate Conception and comparing Fr. Diego’s ministry to the young to Don Bosco’s.
After Mass Nick Trotta (Salesian ’77) fondly and reverently recalled some of the life lessons that Fr. Diego instilled in him and his friends, linking Fr. Diego to the just man praised by the Psalms.
Your humble blogger had the privilege of collaborating with Fr. Diego on vols. 15-16 of The Biographical Memoirs, completing the latter after Fr. Diego died.