Adjunct Faculty

Fr. Arthur Lenti, SDB

DSPT Adjunct Professor - Fr. Arthur Lenti, SDB

Adjunct Professor



BA, Don Bosco College; STL Salesian Pontifical Atheneum, Turin; STL, Pontificia Università Salesiana, Rome; SSL, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Awarded "Doctor of Sacred Theology - Honoris Causa" by DSPT on 25 Jan 2008.


And above all, check your resources. Be honest to the sources, and be honest about how you use other people's writings. I feel that teaching is not as personal as one would like to think. It should in reality be a credible interpretation of the scholarship of many scholars of many ages. The instructor's task is to do this with integrity.

Fr. Arthur teaches on the life and work of the founder of the Salesians, John (Don) Bosco, in context. Don Bosco (1815-1888) lived during the period of the liberal revolutions that swept through Western Europe in the nineteenth century and that produced modern nation-states with new political and social orders. The liberal revolution removed the old "legitimate" rulers and greatly reduced the influence of the institutional Church. In particular, Italy was united as a nation, and its new liberal institutions did away with the Papacy's temporal power. Don Bosco began and expanded his humanitarian and religious work in a progressively secularized society and growing anticlerical hostility, while the Catholic forces struggled to come to grips with the momentous changes. In this context, Fr. Arthur's course aims at presenting a critical view of Don Bosco's life and work. It is not just a matter of describing what Don Bosco did, but why and how he did it. His students are challenged to decide for themselves what their own particular cultural and religious situations may require, and what the appropriate Christian response in those situations might be.

Courses Taught:

Research Interests:

Fr. Arthur teaches two courses on Don Bosco's life and work. However he is also interested in Old Testament study, with an emphasis on its historical background.

He has recently completed a seven-volume work entitled Don Bosco, History and Spirit, on the life of John Melchior Bosco (“Don Bosco,” 1815-1888). The first three volumes survey the life and times of John Melchior Bosco (“Don Bosco,” 1815-1888) up to 1864, with particular attention to nineteenth-century political, social and religious history. This survey looks at Don Bosco’s own education, at his spiritual and theological formation. It examines the growth of the work, and the founding and initial development of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, in the context of the liberal revolution and the unification of Italy (1848-1861).

The next four volumes describe Don Bosco’s life and work in the period following the unification of Italy. In this setting Don Bosco, History and Spirit discusses the institutional developments and organization of the Salesian Society. It describes Don Bosco’s further ministerial choices, and surveys the expansion of the Salesian work. At the same time it examines the development of permanent structures to guarantee the continuance of the Salesian work, and discusses some of the founder’s insights and ideas, especially as they emerge from the reflective writings of his maturity. 

The seventh and final volume in the series, now available for purchase, surveys Don Bosco’s life and activity in the late seventies and eighties, roughly his last dozen years. These are his mature, reflective years; they are also the years of his quasi-retirement, gradually giving way to his sunset years. The volume concludes with the long-awaited general index of the series, a thorough and comprehensive fifty-eight page text, with 3 sections —places, persons, and topics.

The series, edited by Aldo Giraudo, of the Don Bosco Studies Center at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, is delineated as follows:

  • Vol. 1: Don Bosco’s Formative Years in Historical Context
  • Vol. 2: Birth and Early Development of Don Bosco’s Oratory
  • Vol. 3: Don Bosco Educator, Spiritual Master, Writer and Founder of the Salesian Society
  • Vol. 4: Beginnings of the Salesian Society and Its Constitution
  • Vol. 5: Institutional Expansion
  • Vol. 6: Expansion of the Salesian Work in the New World and Ecclesiological Confrontation at Home
  • Vol. 7: Don Bosco’s Golden Years (and General Index of the series)

Select Publications:

  • Don Bosco: History and Spirit. Vol. 7, Don Bosco's Golden Years. Roma: LAS – Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 2010.
  • Don Bosco. His Pope and His Bishop, The Trials of a Founder. Roma: LAS – Libreria Ateneo Salesiano, 2006.
  • "Madonnas for Times of Trouble . . . Mary under the Titles of Immaculate Conception and Help of Christians." Journal of Salesian Studies 11:1 (2000) 1-62.
  • "Politics of the 'Our Father' and the Holy Father: Don Bosco Mediation in Church-State Affairs." Journal of Salesian Studies 10:2 (1999) 181-245.
  • "Don Bosco's Love Affair with 'Poor and Abandoned' Young People and the Beginning of the Oratory." Journal of Salesian Studies 6:1 (1995) 1-80.
  • "The Bosco-Gastaldi Conflict . . . from 1874 to the Enforce Reconciliation (Concordia) 9n 1882." Journal of Salesian Studies 5:1 (1994) 35-131.
  • "The Convitto Ecclesiastico-'Where One Learnt to Be a Priest'." Journal of Salesian Studies 3:1 (1992) 39-77.
  • "Don Bosco's Vocation-Mission Dream-Its Recurrence and Significance." Journal of Salesian Studies 2:1 (1991) 43-156.