I was born in El Segundo, California, U.S.A. and went to the Middle East when I was 10.5 years old to Saudi Arabia. I was sent to school in Beirut, Leb. 1955 – 1956 : American Community School, Chouifet, 1956 – 1957; St. Dominic Savio, 1957 – 1958; Victoira College, Maadi U.A.R. 1958 – 1960.
After a year in Saudi Arabia of no school, I returned to Beirut, Lebanon, attending school in Ashrafieh. All the time since St. Dominic Savio in Ras Beirut, I kept in touch with the Salesians. Fr. Biasoli (Bias), Bro. Dell, (now: Fr. Fausto Mauro Del Core) were my history, Bible history and French teachers.
When I became a Salesian they were also my confrere. For the last 2 years we (Bro. Dell, Don Nicola Masedu,sdb,Don Bashir Souccar, sdb, and Don Giovanni Laconi, sdb, have become reacquainted friends. I left Saudi Arabia in August of 1963 for the U.S. and joined the U. S. Navy Reserve 1963 – 1965.
Then I returned to Beirut in late October/ November as a Salesian Aspirant. I was confirmed as a Catholic in Gethsemane (Jerusalem), Jordan in May or June 1966, then entered the Salesian Novitiate of El Houssoun, (Jbeil), Leb.
In January, 1967, I was sent to Andisheh for my three years of training as Salesian. I taught several classes as a coadjutor brother. I used the name Bro. Francis( my confirmation name) with the students. I returned to the U.S. for studies to the priesthood and later decided my vocation wasn’t to be a religious.
I hope this biography isn’t too long. I am still a Salesian at heart and always will be.
Bro. Charles (Francis) W. Gunn, (sdb)