Celebrating the Vocation of the Religious Brother 1

08 Feb 2018

Celebrating the Vocation of the Religious Brother

by Amy Marinaro

            During the three months between the World Day for Consecrated Life (February 2) and the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1), which is also National Religious Brothers Day, a Salesian brother will be highlighted in Salesian News each week. This series will be in honor of this year which we have dedicated to promoting the vocation of the Salesian brother. The presentation of each of these brothers will be based on the book Profiles of Thirty-Three Salesian Coadjutor Brothers by Fr. Eugene Ceria, SDB, the book Short Sketches of the Lives of Salesians Who Worked in the Province of St. Philip the Apostle during the 100 Years from 1898 to 1998 by Fr. Philip J. Pascucci, SDB, or the reflections of Salesians on some of the exemplary brothers we have known in our province.

Bro. Joseph Buzzetti

Bro. Joseph Buzzetti was born in 1832 in the region of Lombardy. When he was nine years old, he travelled to Turin with his brother to find employment as a construction worker. In Turin, he met Don Bosco and began to attend Don Bosco’s Oratory every Sunday. After several years, he began studying for the priesthood, but was unable to continue his formation after an accident shattered his right index finger, requiring amputation. As a result, Joseph’s peers began to surpass him, and he was encouraged by his family to leave the Oratory. Due to Don Bosco’s encouragement, however, Joseph ultimately decided that he could not leave. He continued his service to the Oratory and Don Bosco with any assignment that needed completion. For almost 40 years, Joseph lived the Salesian spirituality with the Oratory at the center of his life, and in 1877 he began the process to become a coadjutor brother with the Salesian Society. In 1892, shortly after Don Bosco’s death, Bro. Buzzetti passed away at the age of 59 after a life dedicated to furthering the Salesian mission.

Editor’s note: There are short sketches of Bro. Buzzetti in Enzo Bianco, SDB, Don Bosco’s Lay Religious, trans. Peter Swain, SDB, 2 vols. (New Rochelle: Don Bosco Publications, 1984), 1:48-51; and in Eugenio Valentini and Amedeo Rodinò, Dizionario biografico dei Salesiani (Turin, 1969), p. 61.