Mr. Joseph Servello ‘80
These last several weeks of social distancing gives us the opportunity to reflect and contemplate many things. For me, it’s our faith. I began thinking back on my years as a student at Salesian High School in the late 1970’s. This is the fortieth anniversary of my graduation from the class of 1980 and faith and trial memories come back to me like a breeze in my face. Every generation goes through difficult, trying times and each has its own particular characteristic and theme. The one and only constant in every situation is… God.
I was your ordinary teenager when I entered ninth grade at Salesian in 1976, wide-eyed, anxious, curious, and scared. This was high school. The big stage of education in the life of a fourteen-year-old who had not seen much of the outside world. Now I was somewhat on my own, learning the ropes of making new friends and adjusting to the reality of making sure I knew which bell to listen for and where my next classroom was located. Not getting lost was half the battle and making sure I could remember my teacher’s name. This was all in the context of growing up during turbulent national and world problems that as a kid I knew little about. There were many family gatherings that my dad and uncles, especially, would be discussing the oil and energy crisis of the ’70s, the end of the Vietnam War with all the protests, the Iran hostage crisis, and my mom and aunts telling them not to scare the kids. My dad had his own private car business operated out of our home and I would hear him say to my mom how worried he was about the gasoline shortage and if he would be able to pay the bills.
Inevitably, the conversation would involve prayer and faith and trusting that God would take care of things for us. The constant of God never changed. That is the one ongoing remembrance of mine these last forty years since being a high school teenager in turbulent times. God was always someone we all could turn to and lean on for support and guidance; Attending Sunday Mass; and saying prayers as a family. The presence of God was always prevalent at home and at Salesian where I felt safe and happy, praying to Saint John Bosco and Mary, Help of Christians. My point is simple. God remains who He has always been, Love, and He is always here for us: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Christ’s resurrection has shattered sin and evil. Lean on Him, His burden is light. Trust in Him, He will never let us down. Love Him by loving others. We must show and proclaim the love of Christ by rejecting the sin of prejudice and hate. God is Love and He will triumph every time. Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. The unchanging Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is One.