From the Rector

Dear Friends;

This week while I am writing these few reflections, the World Youth Day (WYD) is being celebrated in Krakow (Poland).  Judging from past WYD events, hundreds of thousands of young people (aged 18-30) will be attending this week-long celebration of the Christian faith.  Among the young people from many countries, there is also a contingent of Australian youth associated with the Salesians. Brother Barry, a Salesian and a member of Staff at Salesian College, is accompanying the Salesian pilgrims.  He has already sent back several photos, taken at historical places in Europe.
Pope Francis will preside the final celebration on Sunday.
Unfortunately, the media in Australia just about ignore events like these; so unless you search on the internet, you will not find much information in other media outlets.  I suggest you Google “World Youth Day 2016”, and you will find pictures and stories there…
External manifestations of faith are important.  It is very easy to be people of faith on our own, as if faith were a private matter… But demonstrating our faith in public takes a lot of courage.  From the early days of the preaching of the Apostles, faith has always had a “public” dimension.  And this refers both to practising one’s faith (such as attending church on Sundays, or taking part in public religious events…), but also in generously responding to appeals for help from charities who care for the poor and underprivileged.   St James, one of the Apostles, in writing to his community, stated clearly that “faith without good works is dead”!
There is a growing tendency in the Western world (which had strong Christian roots, and based its ethics on gospel values) to ignore, or even ridicule, Christianity, as old-fashioned and out-dated…
And thus many good Christians prefer to avoid any public manifestations of religious traditions and practices. In this context, it is great to see thousands of young people at events like WYD being prepared to re-claim the public image of their religious faith.
I hope that parents and educators provide an example to their children by the courageous practice of their faith.

Fr Frank Bertagnolli, SDB