Don Bosco’s Oratory Week

Don Bosco’s Oratory Week (formally Community Week) is an important celebration in the Salesian College school year. The aims of this special week are to celebrate:

  1. Being part of the Salesian Family (at Chadstone, Victoria, Australia and South Pacific region)
  2. Being a faith-filled community
  3. Who we are as a multi-cultural and diverse community
  4. The social justice work we dedicate ourselves to
  5. The connection we have to the local community

The week took place from Monday 11September – Friday 15 September, and what a week it was (despite the weather)!

The week was launched with our Annual Walkathon. This year, it was organised through the local streets of Chadstone, Mount Waverley and along Scotchman’s Creek trail. Not only was this an opportunity to celebrate our Salesian College community, it was also an opportunity to raise money for our Salesian community in Samoa. It was great to walk together as a mark of solidarity with others less fortunate than ourselves.

As Woolworths were once again running their Earn and Learn Program, Salesian College registered and so far have collected over 15,000 stickers. These will be redeemed for educational materials that will sent to our schools in Samoa, as part of our Don Bosco’s Oratory Week celebrations.

Every Oratory class participated in our ‘Banner Making Activity’, which encouraged boys to reflect on a Year Level specific question. The banners were then displayed at our Whole School Salesian Festival Day Mass.

Questions included;

  • ‘What have you learnt about the Salesian Story?’
  • ‘How do you fit in to the Salesian Family?’
  • ‘The original meaning of Oratory is ‘Little Chapel’. What can you contribute to Don Bosco’s Oratory to help you become an honest citizen and good Christian?’
  • ‘Don Bosco helped the boys in Turin on their journeys. How can you help and support others along theirs?’
  • ‘Salesian College is a diverse and multicultural community. How do you fit into this puzzle? What do you bring to the community?’
  • ‘Don Bosco taught his boys that it was never too late to change. How can your past and present Salesian experiences influence your future?’
  • You have learnt much on your Salesian Journey, and although your journey as a young man is just beginning, what sort of man would you like to be?

The week was filled with fun at lunchtimes which included Staff vs. Student Netball, Basketball, Down Ball, Dodgeball and Debating. A House Coin Line Competition was organised, which raised over $100, and we played Chess, computer games, and of course, Sing Star. It wouldn’t be an Oratory without music, so each lunchtime we had great performances from staff and students.

On Wednesday, Fr Greg Chambers, the Provincial of the Salesians in the South East Pacific, unveiled and blessed our new ‘Don Bosco Statues’, which depict a life-sized Don Bosco and a modern Year 7 student, carrying a Salesian College bag and sporting a College blazer. A special thanks to Mr Rob Brennan for heading up this project, from idea to implementation!

Community Knowledge sessions ran through the week as well. These were all well attended and included; ‘Respectful Relationships’, ‘Men’s Health’, ‘Mental Health’, ‘Climate Change’, ‘Homelessness’ and ‘R U OK?’ Day.

Boys were all provided with a passport and given stamps for every activity they attended and participated in. These were then converted into Citizenship and House points.

Salesian Festival Day completed the week in great style (apart from the rain)!

The day began with our annual Whole School Mass for all staff and students. What better way to conclude Don Bosco’s Oratory Week than to share Eucharist together which celebrated the gifts, the beauty, the goodness, the achievements and the hopes and joys of our unique community.

This Eucharist also gave us an opportunity to recognise that the great life we have been given here in Australia is one that we should both celebrate and be thankful for. We acknowledged our extraordinary community, comprising of people from more than 90 different cultural backgrounds. We spent time celebrating our diversity and the knowledge that we are united in God by our procession of flags.

At the end of Mass, we also recognised the wonderful contribution that our Omnia Award Recipients have made to Salesian and the wider community.

The Omnia Awards are presented annually to students who have made an outstanding contribution to community service within, or on behalf of Salesian College. These students have demonstrated a community mindedness and action which is selfless, voluntary and regular, without the expectation of reward or recognition.

This year we had 6 award recipients. Congratulations to Sheneth Fernando, Matias Jara Gonzales, Patrick Lov, Peter Pamouktsis, Kieran Roach and Tibin Thampy.

Thank you to all those who were involved in our Don Bosco’s Oratory Week celebrations.

Mrs Nadia Knight
Assistant Principal – Faith and Mission