From the Rector

Dear Friends;

I’m writing this short message on the afternoon of the day when 24 students from our College received the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic faith: Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion – in the presence of many parents, sponsors and fellow students.

I wish to congratulate them for the courageous decision they freely took, and for their example of loyalty to the traditions of the College.

I would also like to thank them for the example they have given to their peers and to their teachers; and also to thank their families for supporting their decision.

I take this opportunity to invite all readers to reflect on the tremendous contribution that all Christian churches make to our society. We may doubt that Australia is a Christian country; but there should be no doubt about the Christian values that underpin our way of life in this country. Not just values of democracy, such as freedom, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, personal and social responsibility…, but also freedom of speech and of religion, respect for one’s conscience, respect for all human life, and for the rights of minorities…

What would happen in this country if there were no organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the St Vincent de Paul society, Caritas Australia; or if all faith-based schools (including Catholic schools that alone enrol 20% of all students) were to close down tomorrow? If Christian hospitals, social services and aged-care facilities stopped functioning, Australia’s health and welfare systems would collapse!

Unfortunately, there is a tendency in the media to ridicule Christianity, and to attack as “bigots” those who profess to be Christian and to adopt and defend Christian values!

By undermining Christianity and denigrating the historical and current contribution it makes to our society, one undermines the value system that built this country as a peaceful, prosperous and tolerant society.

I hope and pray that all students, and indeed all the members of the Salesian College community, appreciate and courageously defend the Christian traditions on which the success of this College is built.

Fr Frank Bertagnolli, SDB