Father Francis

From a grateful Andisheh student

I went to Andisheh High School in Tehran, from the first grade, to the tenth. The school was run by Italian fathers. One of the most beloved ones-certainly by me- was Father Francis. After the revolution they took the school from them, and most of them left, but a few chose to stay. I finally found Father Francis' email and contacted him. (He is now "Don"Francis!). To my delight, he let me know he was coming to the U.S., and is planning to spend a few days in Washington, D.C. I got to spend three days with him. I cannot begin to tell you how great it was to see him again. I asked him if it was not tough to live in Iran after the Revolution, as a Catholic priest. He admitted it was, but also added,"But you know, Iran is my home now." I put together this video in his honor:



Andisheh 1978-1980

by ali kasra (not verified) on

I went to Andisheh from 1978 to 1980 for First and Second Grade. I changed school in 1980 and went to Razi for the next six years. I had seen Father Francis in the school yard, but I never got to know him. He seemed like a nice guy. My teachers were Mrs.Bayat in the first grade and Mrs. Ferkazad in the second grade and I don't remember the names of the English Teachers in the afternoon. Mrs. Bayat was nasty, but Mrs. Fekrazad was ok. I have an interseting story about that equally nasty English Teacher in the first grade but unfortunately I can't share it. I had a really good friend named Amir Keneshkar and I just found him after 29 years on Facebook. I recently saw recent pictures of Andisheh and I was amazed how old the school building looks. It made me really sad because the school looked really sharp in 1978 and 1979. I think the school needs renovations and they also need to take Mohammad Montazeri's name off the school and call it Andisheh again.


Credits goes to All active members

by Shahriyar Katoozian (not verified) on

Dear Dariush , Thanks for the promotion of the site, Many Andisheyees are not aware of the existance of the website yet. The credit goes to all active members who are contibuting to the site and you are defenetly one of them I also Thank Cameron for the nice slide show a tribute to our Dear Father francis. and you are a wonderful Co-Administrator yourself Dariush. I also Thank you for your 3d Andisheh Virtual Court a wonderful contoibution you made to the website. Once again Thanks to all Andisheyees for contibuting with every thing they have, pictures, books, memories, videos etc.

"Andishee Javid"



by Majeed (not verified) on

Merci for the wonderful video.I was in Andiseh shabonerosee for six years and am greatful to all the Fathers specially Father Antoniatsee for all their advice and help at a young age. I am in the picture from ordo first person right sitting. Lost the picture a while back. Please email it to me. Mamnoon.Ps I remember in the ordo any team with an Italian name got more pints anyone else notice that. Heheheh



by Dariush (not verified) on

Thanks Cameron and Hats off to our Andishehee friend, Shahriyar Katoozian, for having made this happen, thanks to his effort in initiating the Andisheh website while ago. Since this site is up, many of us could reconnect, and that reunion in Washington with father Francis would not even take place in the same way, without the Andishehees networking, highly facilitated by this site.
So I recommend to all Andishehees who read this page, if you are not yet a member, visit //www.andisheh-donbosco.com and join the social network. You'll find a lot of videos like this one, as well as tons of Nostalgia, old and new pictures. You can even get together in the forums or in the 3D virtual court. Register there and receive information bulletins about the events, reunions, news and more.
The latest photo album is from Andisheh taken in April 2009 (yes, just a month ago), thanks to Ahmad Shahyan. You'll find the link right on the home page.
See you there and...
Andisheh Javeed!


Andisheh Don Bosco Website

by Shahriyar Katoozian (not verified) on

Join Our Alumni at //andisheh-donbosco.com

There is also a gallery with hundreds of pictures.
Inviteothers to join as well please


Good Job Cameron Niakan

by Benyamin on

I believe it is important to let someone know how important they are to us and what kind of impact they have had in forming our character and how much they have influenced it.


Anyone know where Father Nicola is?

by Asghar Agha (not verified) on

I was in Andisheh for 6th, 7th and 8th grade only- 7th grade was the year of the revolution so it was only 6 months of school even if that. But Cameron thank you for the memory and the wonderful video. I wish I could find Father Nicola since we played soccer, volleyball, handball, ping-pong.. you name it with him - wonderful human! He was from the island of Sardinia and I think from the little town of Olbia on the NE coast of the Island near French Corsica (city name I'm not 100% sure but the "Sardegna" part 110%). His full name was Nicola Masedu - this is all in my head from 1979 - never written down anywhere until now.


An Icon of a school

by Cameron N. (not verified) on

Kaveh Nouraee: There are quite a few teachers that after all these years I remember fondly, and would like to thank, for their positive impact on my life. Unfortunately,with most of them, I'll never get to do that. So when a Father Francis comes along, I would not miss the opportunity for the world.
Thank you for your comment.

Nazy Kaviani: Father Francis had a reunion with Andisheh alumni in the West coast as well. As the way it usually is,a higher number of students showed up there, than we had here. There too, as he said in Farsi, with his Italian accent, "khaily tah'veelam gereftand".
(You guys just have to top us in everything, don't you?!)

Alborz: See? I KNEW IT!I always thought there was something special about you. And now we know: Those 5 years in Andisheh :-)

Reza: Ditto! A couple of other people around here were supposed to come to our reunion, but they got stuck with work and family obligations and didn't show up. Duh? How often do you think you get the chance??
Anyway, thanks for the kind words. The music in the background is from Hossein Behrooznia's KOHESTAN, golchini az melody hayeh boomi eh Iran (It is produced in Iran, but I bought it here)

IRANdokht: Looking back, he was a kid when he came to Andisheh. When I finally found his email, and was supposed to pick him up from the airport, I asked him "How old are you now, what, 75?" He replied,"nah, taazeh shodeh 59 salam."
I think his youth and 'sarehaalee' is owed to the fact that they don't have women in their lives ;-)
(LOL..I am of course, kidding!)

K.Aminian: Someone has already started a website about Andisheh. It's www.Andisheh-DonBosco.com An Andisheh alumnus, Shahryiar Katoozian out of Denmark runs it. Check it out.

Kurush: We were giants in sports. I remember one year there was a soccer tournament among the famous schools in Teheran and Reza Pahlavi's team was part of it. Every other school got beat by them, but they were lucky to tie us.
In the video, in the team picture we have, to my left, is Ali Zarrinfar, who became the captain of the youth national team. We did rock!

Greengage: The man is a photographer and has pictures of every town and city in Iran. Towns I have never even heard of.
He also drives, but he drives as a Father would, even in Iran. Funny thing is, as I was driving him around town (he absolutely loved the Washington Cathedral), he made the comment," khaily amrikaee shodee, vali raanandegit irooni moondeh!"

Alireza Torabi:I tell you, if there is indeed a God, you can tell,this man is very close to him. Thanks.
Andishehee: Can you believe it? The same face, the same facial impression, the same body,and the same pose! As if they cut his picture from 30 years ago, and pasted it on this picture! He is Bishop Bedini now! Check out the Andisheh website.
Shahin Sedaghat: Many of these wonderful people, Fathers, have died. I asked Fr. Francis for some pictures or info on them so they can be posted to the website. I am sure there are many like you who'd like to see those pictures again, but he was shy and humble about it. Go to the website. I am sure you'll get a kick out of it. Thank you for your comment.

I seriously doubt, there has ever been high school in Iran, out of which came so many brilliant students. I have former classmates that are surgeons and professors, in the US. Firouz Naderi, the associate director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, went to Andisheh. Omid Kordestani, Google's #5 (or is it 6?) went to Andisheh, and many more.
We had the tradition of taking a class picture at the end of every school year. What a brilliant idea! I don't know of any other school that had this. 30 years later we can look at the pictures of our classmate and remember their faces.
The school had an anthem! We all sang it together, and I believe every Andisheh alumnus still remembers the words. It starts with something about how we are seeking wisdom, the children of this old land of Iran
, and it ends, describing the way this school is planted in every Andisheh alumnus' mind:
"Andisheh,.. Andisheh,... Jaaveed!"


Thank you - Brought back such memories

by Shahin Sedaghat (not verified) on

This was such a pleasant surprise. Thank you. I miss all these selfless teachers. Bedini ( I don't miss his ear-bendings !!), Tino, Picioni, Darioush, Tino,... Anyone out there with more photos please post them under Andisheh on YouTube. Once again thank you


Brought tears to my eyes

by Shahin Sedaghat (not verified) on

Thank you. I have many good memories from this excellent school. I attented from 1967-first grade until 1976 -9th Grade. RemembeFather Bedini who is pictured in your piece, Larker, Tino, Darioush, Picioni, Antoniotsi, ... Does anyone out there have more photos, post them to facebook or YouTube please. Again, thank you.


Was that Bidini? He hasn't

by andishee (not verified) on

Was that Bidini? He hasn't changed as much as I thought he would. I was in 9th grade when the revolutiuon happened and have great memories of the school. Our class did a reunion in Vegas 7-8 yrs ago and about 20 people from our class showed up! It was a blast. Thx for bringing back good memories...


Thank you, That was a great

by Alireza Torabi (not verified) on

Thank you, That was a great video clip. It was great to hear from Father Francis.
Thank you again.


Father Francis.

by Greengage. (not verified) on

A surprise to see the familiar face of Father Francis.He is pictured with the Bishop by the Caspian sea.Probably the main thing he dislikes about living in Tehran is driving from Ave France up to say Mass on Sunday evenings at the Church on Shahriati through the horrendous traffic!Thanks for posting this Cameron.


What a small world!!

by Kurush (not verified) on

I was in the Andisheh basketball team that won 1st place and reached the final two years in a row. right before the revolution. I do have a funny story about Father Francis. we were in the auditorium right next to the basement church watching a movie. One of the characters in the film was named Frances, or something like that, she was a female. In one of the scenes, a male suitor asked Frances: "...kiss me Frances." The whole crowd of teenagers roared and bowled over. Needless to say, Father Francis' face was all red and terribly flustered. But the kids had a good laugh at his expense. There were so many of them: Father Picione,the principal, Father kourush who also taught philosophy at Tehran univ; there was a German Catholic Father too who had lost his fingers in WWII. Whenever, he got excited, which was not infrequent given some of the wildest kids around jumping around him as he walked the schoolyard, he wagged his mangled fingers at us in peremptory voice, otherwise he was extremely kind. Father James with his small figure & wire glasses pinching the errant boys so hard on the the arm that a scream and tears followed, for that was their form of punishment and they excelled in it.


Andisheh - Don Bosco

by K. Aminian (not verified) on

I went to Andisheh/Don Bosco between 1959 and 1971. Kaveh Nouree, did you graduate the same year? Andisheh Alumni can go to "//www.persepolis.com/programs/alumni-index.asp" and register their information under Andisheh. I also have yearbooks from 1963-1964 and 1964-1965 that need to be posted on the web for alumni and public access. The yearbooks cover students who were between being first graders to those who graduted as 12th graders at that time. They have lots of class pictures, summer camps at Noushar, and pictures from Fathers Larker, Piccioni, Burn, Vetorre, Fidely, etc. They would definitely bring back a lot of good memories.
Somebody should start a website for Don Bosco/Andisheh School.



by IRANdokht on

Cameron jan

Thanks for making me look at this post :-P (just kidding)

What a great tribute to a man who dedicated his life to his faith, the Iranian children and their education. He looks much younger than I imagined he would...  

very nice video indeed. I am glad you got to spend time with Father Francis. I am dying to know what else he says about Iran and living there after all these years.


Reza-Rio de Janeiro

Touching tribute...

by Reza-Rio de Janeiro on

Great job Cameron,

Very touching story and choice of background music...

Happy for you and Father Francis... Your grateful gesture and character in this case is a great example for the rest of us to go out of our way (like you) and pay tribute to those who left positive impressions in our lives while they are still alive!  

PS. Does anyone know the name of the music soundtrack on this clip?

Thanks for sharing...


The Andisheh clan is indeed growing!

by alborz on

I went there between 1964 and 1969 and have many fond memories.  At the risk of dating myself, those were primary school years for me!

Thanks Cameron!


Nazy Kaviani

A very well-loved man

by Nazy Kaviani on

I didn't know you went to Andisheh! Father Francis is a very well-loved man among Andisheh alumni. Many of them who live in Iran have regular gatherings and are still very much in touch with the Italian School in Tehran. What a small world, Cameron!

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I think what you did by putting together this video was a wonderful gesture. It's great that you have reconnected with him, and it's clear that there was and still is a lot of love for the man, not just from you but from others as well.