By John Lynds
Despite rumors floating around East Boston that Salesian Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Fr. John Nazzaro is leaving the club nothing could be further from the truth.
While Fr. Nazzaro is stepping down as the club’s Executive Director, he will remain at the Boys & Girls Club as the Director of Mission.
Fr. Nazzaro told the East Boston Times last week that he wanted to clear the air and make sure the community understands that he will remain at the club on a full-time basis and is excited about his new role.
“I think I will be able to impact more young people as Director of Mission without having to deal with the day to day administrative responsibilities,” said Fr. Nazzaro.
The Director of Mission, explained Fr. Nazzaro, is a more pastoral position that will insure the Salesian Spirit and the spirit of St. John Bosco, the Apostle of Youth, and will be present at the club for years to come.
“When I first professed as a Salesian of Don Bosco I was asked, ‘What would your dream job be?’, said Fr. Nazzaro, who was born and raised in Eastie. “Without hesitation I said that I wanted to work at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club. I want everyone who has been so great in supporting our kids to know that my new responsibilities are a dream job come true”.
As Director of Mission, Fr. Nazzaro will collaborate with the Executive Director during the transition and help oversee faith formation, mission identity and formation of the Salesian educational approach. A new Executive Director has not yet been chosen by the Salesians.
Since taking over the Boys & Girls Club as Executive Director eleven years ago Fr. Nazzaro has been without a Director of Mission– a position he said is a priority in all Salesian houses throughout the congregation.
With this new position as Director of Mission, Fr. Nazzaro will have more time to attend to the spiritual and educational philosophy of the Salesians as well as promoting a Christian culture at the club
“Years ago when the Boys & Girls Club was on Paris Street, we had priests that were dedicated to keeping the spirit of the Salesian order and the spirit of Don Bosco in the building,” said Fr. Nazzaro. “These priests had more time to mentor the kids, take them on field trips and be on hand to help them through tough times. As Executive Director a lot of my time was spent dealing with administrative issues, issues with the building, raising money, etc. Now I’m free to be with the kids on a regular basis and build the relationships we had with the community years ago. Our priority has always been to make the Boys & Girls Club a safe place for young people.”
If there is any doubt of how strong the Salesian commitment is in Eastie, Fr. Nazzaro said look no further than the fact that the Order’s Provincial Fr. Tim Zak recently increased the number of Salesians from three to five in the neighborhood.
“The Salesian presence is here to stay and is as alive as ever in East Boston,” said Fr. Nazzaro. “Our club is entrusted to great people who I love very much.”
Fr. Nazzaro said he will still be involved in promoting the club with fund raisers and development.
“A lot of the donors who have been so supportive in the past are my friends and that friendship must continue to ensure our youth have a great future,” said Fr. Nazzaro. “East Boston is my home and I count my blessings every day I get up and hear the sounds of Eastie on Bennington street”.
Fr. Nazzaro said the Salesian Boys & Girls Club is accepting resumes for the Executive Directors position until August 24th.
Resumes may be submitted to [email protected]