Charles Todel

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Charles Todel (born June 1, 1922 in the Bronx, New York - died April 20, 2008 in Tampa, Florida) was a Salesian monk who headed the Be an Apostle of Christ Foundation at Marks Village in Gate City from 1985 to 2001.

Todel was born to Adolph and Cecillia Todel, immigrants to the Bronx from North Italy. He was baptized at St Dominic's Catholic Church and studied with his brother at the Salesian Institute of San Lorenzo in Novara, Italy. After returning to the United States, Todel enrolled at the Don Bosco Seminary in Newton, New Jersey to study for the priesthood. A nervous breakdown there led him to pursue a monastic, rather than priestly, vocation. He professed his vows on September 8, 1943 and began teaching cabinet-making at trade shops operated by the Salesians in Marrero, Louisiana; Paterson, New Jersey; and Tampa, Florida. He also coached youth sports at these posts. Beginning in 1965 he helped develop a building technology program at Don Bosco Tech in Boston, Massachusetts.

Todel continued teaching the trades and coaching sports as part of his ministry in Birmingham. After arriving in 1985 he served on the staff of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in [[Gate City[[, and St John Bosco Catholic Church in Woodlawn. He created the Be an Apostle of Christ Foundation in 1986 to improve the lives of youth living at the Marks Village project near his church. In 2000 he worked with Steve Orel to create the World of Opportunity civil rights, social justice, education and job readiness program. In 2001 he moved to Chicago, Illinois to continue his ministry.

After his health began to fail, Todel retired to the Salesian community of Mary Help of Christians Center in Tampa, Florida. He died at the Bon Secours-Maria Manor Nursing Home in St Petersburg, where he lived the final months of his life. Todel is buried at the Salesian Cemetery in Goshen, New York.


  • Brittany (April 23, 2008) "Obituary for Bro Charles Todel". Salesians of Don Bosco
  • Garrison, Greg (May 3, 2008) "Longtime minister to Gate City dies." Birmingham News

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