2015 – The Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s Birth

On Monday 19 January over 100 Salesians and guests gathered in Geelong for the opening Conference in celebration of this Bicentenary Year. All eight members of the Salesian Community here at Chadstone were in attendance as also was Mr Rob Brennan who was invited to work with Fr Phil Gleeson S.D.B. in gathering the threads of the various presentations into a summary response.

The highlight of the Conference was the detailed unfolding of the life and spirituality of St John Bosco as presented by Fr Joe Boenzi S.D.B. an Associate Professor from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome and a senior Lecturer at Don Bosco Hall at Berkley University in San Francisco. The gathering was certainly very fortunate to be able to listen to such a well informed and very able presenter speaking out of years of careful research. This Conference proved to be a very invigorating launch of the Bicentenary Year during which there will be a steady flow of themes evident in all our major undertakings.

On Thursday 29 January, during our Staff Seminar Days, we were fortunate to have Fr Joe Boenzi come to the College to speak with the Staff of the College. This was a much appreciated way to highlight this year of celebration in honour of Don Bosco by engaging all members of the College Staff in the themes that will recur throughout the year.

On Friday 30 January Fr Greg Chambers S.D.B., a Past Pupil of the College and currently the Province Leader of the Salesians in Australia and the Pacific, came to Celebrate the Feast of St John Bosco in a very special event, the Mass in which Br Barry Parker made his Final Profession as A Salesian for Life. Quite a number of the Staff Members, Salesians from around Melbourne and guests including Br Barry’s parents shared in this celebration.

This Bicentenary Year has certainly been duly celebrated in these events and all who have participated have been moved to honour Don Bosco by taking on his wonderful spirit and living it each in all that we do.

May the Good Lord keep us all true to our commitments in 2015.

Fr John Papworth S.D.B.