Brendan P. Kennealey ‘94

Mr. Kennealey is the fourth President of Salesianum and the first lay-leader in the school’s 115 year history. His career in education began as a volunteer teacher at Nativity Preparatory School in Boston before becoming the founding principal of a Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 2000. Mr. Kennealey then returned to Wilmington to work with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales establish Nativity Preparatory School in Wilmington. Turning his sights internationally, in 2004 he founded the Benebikira Sisters Foundation which raises awareness and funding for the Benebikira Sisters' schools and health clinics in Rwanda. Before Salesianum, Mr. Kennealey was an Area Superintendent for the Catholic Schools Office in the Archdiocese of Boston. He also served as an adjunct professor at Boston College where he created and taught the Social Entrepreneurship course.

Mr. Kennealey currently serves on the boards of the Benebikira Sisters Foundation, Ursuline Academy, and DeSales University. He received a BA in Psychology from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Now in his eighth year as president, Mr. Kennealey has placedfinancial aid at Salesianum, which is largely funded by the Salesianum School Endowment, at the center of his presidency. Indeed, over the course of his tenure, financial aid distribution has outpaced tuition increases three to one, which donors to the Endowment increasing five-fold. Additional points of emphasis have included such important initiatives as the renovation of the Lawless Library, the acquisition of Baynard Stadium, and improvements to governance.

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

The Rev. J. Christian Beretta, O.S.F.S., is the 17th principal of Salesianum School. A native of California, he graduated from Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia, where he was taught by the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales. He entered the Oblates in 1986, and was ordained a priest at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Delaware, on May 31, 1997. 

Fr. Beretta holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Allentown College (now DeSales University), a Master of Divinity from the DeSales School of Theology, a Master of Arts in Sport Psychology from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, he began his doctoral studies in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, where his dissertation is currently focused on involving students in the development of authentically inclusive school communities that reflect the Gospel ideal of the civilization of love.

Fr. Beretta has served in Catholic education for twenty-four years as a teacher, coach, campus minister, and principal, both at Salesianum (1991-1993, 1997-1999, and 2010-present) and at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, FL (1999-2010). In collaboration with a dedicated faculty and staff, he is passionate about the development of innovative approaches to Salesianum's educational and spiritual mission, preparing the next generation of Salesian gentlemen for life in a rapidly changing world. His experience both as a student and an educator is that learning with and from others gives life meaning, expressed in the words of Saint Francis de Sales: "Knowledge is the eighth sacrament of the church." Guided by this vision, Fr. Beretta continues to be inspired by the ongoing effort to build a uniquely Salesian community of faith and learning that is optimistic, engaging, and relevant to the lives of the students, who as children of God are called to use their gifts and talents to change the world.