Rev. J. Christian Beretta, O.S.F.S.


Rev. Chris Beretta, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, has served as principal of Salesianum School since 2010. He has spent over two decades serving in Catholic schools as a teacher, coach, campus minister, and principal.

A native of California, Father Beretta graduated from Paul VI High School in Fairfax, VA, where he first met the Oblates. After high school, he joined the formation program and earned a Bachelor’s degree in theology from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now DeSales University) in 1991. As a young Oblate, Father Beretta taught social justice and was an assistant coach in the basketball and baseball programs at Salesianum from 1991-1993.

Father Beretta returned to graduate school in the fall of 1993 and went on to earn three Masters degrees. He holds a Master of Divinity from the DeSales School of Theology in Washington, DC (1997), an M.A. in Kinesiology-Sport Psychology from the University of Maryland (1997) and an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame (2009).  After being ordained a priest on May 31, 1997 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Father Beretta returned to Salesianum as a teacher and coach from 1997-1999. In 1999, he was transferred to Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, FL, where he spent the next 11 years, first as the school’s campus minister from 1999-2003, and then as principal from 2003-2010.

During Holy Week in 2008, Father Beretta made the first of what would become regular trips to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There, the life and work of Fr. Tom Hagan, OSFS, and Hands Together had a transformative influence on his faith, leadership, and ministry, and is helping to shape Salesianum’s current efforts to establish a service-learning program.

In 2010, Father Beretta returned to Salesianum as principal, joining the dedicated faculty and staff in the mission to educate and develop the whole person. As principal, his leadership is focused on sustainingand strengthening the commitment to academic excellence and Salesian spirituality which has defined Salesianum since 1903. Every curricular and extracurricular program aspires to serve this mission by contributing to the intellectual and personal formation of Salesian gentlemen.