larry lorenzoni

larry lorenzoni

larry lorenzoni

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Larry Lorenzoni was born in Italy and joined the Salesians in 1939 in the U.S. He taught Salesian high schools in the Los Angeles archdiocese in Bellflower, San Gabriel and Los Angeles between 1957-67.  He also worked in several parishes.   In the 1990s, he worked at Vatican Press Office for four years. In 2002, he was accused of abuse of a student in 1957-58.  Another former student alleged similar abuse by Lorenzoni when he was a high school student during 1959-60 in Watsonville California.  Lorenzoni died in 2017.



Salesian Missionary House/Prep Seminary Richmond, CA 1951..­1953
St. Francis School for Boys Watsonville, CA 1953..­1955
Don Bosco Technical High School San Gabriel, CA 1955..­1956
St. John Bosco High School Bellflower, CA 1956­..1958
Don Bosco Technical High School San Gabriel, CA 1958­..1960
St. Francis High School Watsonville, CA 1960..­1962
Bishop Mora Salesian High School Los Angeles, CA 1962..­1963
St. Francis High School Watsonville, CA 1963­.. 1966
Bishop Mora Salesian High School Los Angeles, CA 1966­..1967
St. Francis Xavier Carbondale, IL 1967­..1968
Salesian Provincial Residence San Francisco, CA 1971..­1986
Salesian Foreign Missions 1987..­1990
SS. Peter and Paul San Francisco, CA 1993­..1994
Salesian Provincial Residence San Francisco, CA 1996­ ..2017
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larry lorenzoni
larry lorenzoni

The Average Person Isn’t

Several sources credit the quip to Father Larry Lorenzoni, a priest of the Salesian Order in San Francisco. Father Lorenzoni, however, does not appear to be the originator of the saying. In fact, its earliest use appears to be in the New York humor magazine, The Judge, in 1927. Since that time, one website lists at least four additional published appearances of the saying between 1934 and 1987, none of which are attributed to Father Lorenzoni.

There is something ironic about Father Lorenzoni’s use of the quote. Average people (if there are any such) don’t pretend to be the author of something they did not originate. In her book, How to Work a Room, Susan RoAne writes, “I met a significant person in my life on a plane from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Father Larry Lorenzoni and I spent an hour chatting, laughing, comparing publications . . .” Unfortunately, a fairly deep Google search revealed that Father Lorenzoni has no publications to his credit—except a few letters to the editor—despite “comparing” them with Ms. RoAne’s publications. But there’s more: A further Google search reveals that the good Father also stands accused of sexually molesting young boys in his charge.

Father Lorenzoni is not your average person, obviously, and it appears he doesn’t think he is, either. Not only does he permit his name to be associated, on multiple websites and in books of quotations, with a quote he did not author, not only does he talk of his nonexistent publications with a young woman who is an author, he is accused of sexually abusing children. The average person does none of those things.

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Father Lorenzoni’s apparent duplicity is one example of why I think the saying is wrong. My argument is with the notion of an “average person.” An average is a pure mathematical abstraction that cannot be said to describe accurately any real human being. Forty years practicing psychotherapy and teaching psychology to graduate students has taught me that no matter how ordinary a person might seem, that person’s story—or stories—make her unique. And while many people experience similar incidents, and respond in similar ways, always the nuances of their experience and their response are distinctly their own.

larry lorenzoni
larry lorenzoni

Father Larry Lorenzoni is not your average priest

Father Larry Lorenzoni is not your average priest, or even your ordinary priest. If he were a character in a novel, we would learn why, in his uniqueness, he takes credit for things he did not do and conceals the evil that he is said to have done. But we do not know the story. In my lifetime, I have known personally nearly one hundred priests of the Roman church. I am confident that all but two of those have never molested a child. Even those two, living public lives that concealed their private crimes, manifested a powerful commitment to, even love for, the people whom they served. No one is average. Everyone has a story. And nobody’s story is simple. Not even Father Larry Lorenzoni’s.

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Larry Lorenzoni:

Born in Italy, Fr. Larry Lorenzoni was ordained a Salesian priest in 1951, who came to California in the late 1930s and served in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. According to media reports, in 2002, he was accused of sexually abusing a former student from 1957 to 1958 while serving at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, CA. He was named in a civil lawsuit against the Salesians in connection with the alleged abuse.

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A few years later, another former student accused Fr. Lorenzoni of sexual abuse from 1959 to 1960, when the man attended seminary school in Watsonville, California. Fr. Lorenzoni lived in Rome, Italy, from 1985 to 1990.

larry lorenzoni
larry lorenzoni

Fr. Lorenzoni reportedly resided in the Salesian Provincial House in the Archdiocese of San Francisco after returning from Rome. He lived there until he died in 2017. Fr. Lorenzoni was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.


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