The East Boston Times is dead wrong when it says, in a front page story in the Sept. 24 issue, that the Salesian religious order "evicted Savio Prep High School from its property on Byron Street two years ago." In fact, Savio's board of directors voted to close the school. I know because I was there.
The school actually had another year on its lease with the order, but decided to pull the plug at the end of the 2006-07 school year. The Salesian Society did make clear that they would not be renewing the lease with Savio after June of 2008 -- for reasons that do make sense -- and at least one priest was not very civil to the school down the stretch, but there was no eviction.
The whole sordid story of the demise of Savio is something I've avoided wading too deeply into here, as it's a complex web of mismanagement at several levels -- possibly including the misappropriation of funds. Suffice to say that when I returned to the Savio faculty in the fall of 2006 the school was on life support and more than one person said to me that the place should have been shut down the previous June.
Having worked for both the Salesian (note to Times: there is no "s" at the end) Boys and Girls Club, as well as Savio -- and after having passed through both institutions as a youngster and teenager -- I am not predisposed to take the side of one or the other, and recognizing Fr. John Nazzaro with a story is commendable. He is a good guy who I've known for years.
However, on an issue as emotional and recent as the closing of Savio, I'm not sure how a key fact was bungled so badly.