On May 8, 2018, Father Salvatore Bonano, CMF, celebrated 75 years serving God as a priest.
As a young boy growing up in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Los Angeles, and as a student at Sacred Heart School, he felt the call to be a missionary. After completing elementary school in 1931, with permission from his father and mother, he left for Dominguez Seminary in Compton.
On May 8, 1943, Father Sal, as he is known, stood before Bishop Joseph McGucken, at our Lady Queen of Angels (La Placita), prepared for ordination in service of the people of God as a Claretian missionary. He earned his PhD in Theology and served as a theology professor in California and Washington, D.C. for the next 15 years.
In 1960, Father Sal began his missionary ministry, when he was assigned to Claretianum, Rome, Italy, as a professor. He also taught at the Claretian Seminary, Highcliff, England.
Five years later, he returned to the United States, and served in parish ministry across the country for the next 35 years. He continued to share his love of teaching, offering classes in theology and ecclesial history of the Church in the parishes he served.
Father Sal also used this time to write four books on spiritual reflection, with the goal of sharing the message that God walks with us in the journey of our lives, and that this journey is an opportunity to grow and discover God’s presence in ourselves and in our neighbors. Many of his lessons reflected life experiences from his youth in Los Angeles, as well as lessons he learned during his years of ministry.
After 56 years of active ministry, Father Sal was assigned to Casa Claret at Dominguez Seminary in Compton. He continued to be active in part-time parish ministry with the Claretians and in the Diocese. He also visits brothers in the community to share stories and encouragement for their collective ministry, and enjoys time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer for all missionaries.