He’s never had a son of his own, but Father Ronald Olszewski has worried about, prayed for, and helped thousands of young men work through the challenges of adolescence. He recently retired from his job as president at St. Francis de Sales High School, where he worked over 40 years as principal, then president, and always a teacher and mentor.
One of his first tasks in retirement was to compile notes from his annual Mothers’ Club talk “Raising Your Son to be a Knight” into a book. Released in November, “Guiding Boys on the Journey to Knighthood” is his look at understanding young men and using that knowledge to guide them toward adulthood.
“There are all too many voices and images showing boys how to become bad men,” he writes. “More than ever, boys need the adults in their lives to offer understanding and guidance.”
Section One of the 93-page book discusses the physical and emotional development of boys, with examples from the “adventures” of former SFS students. His own views are supplemented with data from studies of adolescence as well as Biblical references about the adolescent Jesus, and even the popular comic strip Zits that features not-so-perfect teenage boys.
In Section Two, Olszewski suggests practical ways to handle (and anticipate) boys’ behavior, insisting that “Adolescent males do not need parents, teachers, coaches, or other significant adults to be their friends. They need parents and adults to be their mentors on their journey to adulthood.” He recommends consistency and refusing to take a boy’s behavior personally, and concludes with advice for parents, “Love him and enjoy his adolescence.”
The book is available for $15 in the Spirit Store at St. Francis de Sales High School,
2323 W. Bancroft, Toledo, or by calling Ms. Maureen Delaney at the school at 419 531-1618