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Father Angelo Bongiorno

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On Oct. 3 in the Don Orione Home, he was the oldest Salesian of Don Bosco in the United States. Born on May 14, 1913 in Sicily, Italy. Loving son of the late Giuseppe and Anna (Magaddino) Bongiorno died by the time Angelo was five. With two of his older siblings he emigrated to New York when he was seven. They became members of Mary Help of Christians in Manhattan's East Village. Angelo entered the Salesian High School Seminary at Newton, N.J in 1929. He made his first profession of religious vows on Sept. 1, 1932, at Newton, earned a B.A at Don Bosco College in Newton in 1934 and taught at Salesian H.S in New Rochelle until 1938. Fr. Angelo began his theological studies at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1938 but had to return to the U.S when Italy entered WWII in 1940. He completed his studies at Don Bosco Seminary in Newton and was ordained on June 28, 1942. He later earned master's in English and Latin. His love for language was legendary, and he was even reputed to use the dictionary for recreational reading. Most of Fr. Angelo's long classroom and administrative career as a Salesian priest was spent in Boston-48years. He felt privileged to lead the first Salesians, as their director, who went to Boston in fulfillment of a long-ago prophecy of St. John Bosco. They opened Don Bosco Trade School in East Boston in 1945: ten years later it relocated downtown as Don Bosco Technical High School. Fr. Angelo taught or was an administrator at Don Bosco Tech for 42 Years (1945-47; 1957-59; 1962-2000): for 25 years he also was faculty moderator of the cheerleading squad. He retired in 2000 to the Salesian community in East Boston and for the last 3 years he resided at the Don Orione Home. Fr. Angelo's life was one of complete dedication to young people and to the Church. His superiors noted him as a man of faith and obedience. Visiting hours will be in the Chapel of the Don Orione Nursing Home, 111 Orient Ave, East Boston on Thursday 5-7Pm followed by a Funeral Mass at 7:00PM. His Funeral celebration will continue in Marian Shrine Chapel, Stony, New York on Friday and Saturday Oct 6 & 7. For more info or to send an on line condolence www.ruggieromh.com Ruggiero Mazzarella Memorial Home East Boston617-569-0990
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