From the Rector: 2015 Valedictory Mass Homily

This Gospel passage calls forth in us a spirit of trust and courage. Jesus has been through it all and HAS RISEN TO NEW LIFE. The class of 2015 has one more hurdle before they too, go forth into A NEW LIFE.
A Six-year journey through Salesian College is drawing to a close.

This evening, memorable moments along that journey, will be recalled and celebrated; hopefully, without compromising the final set of hurdles yet to be assailed. The Class of 2015 can proudly claim with St Paul –
“I have run the race, I have fought the good fight . .” and evidence played out in this evening’s celebrations along with sincere expressions of appreciation will testify to that.

Like the sun, life spreads its smile in all directions, and it is well to note that DIVINE ENERGY, like the light of the sun, flows to all open recipients.
Divine Energy ignites a passion to commit to the pursuit of whatever is GOOD. This is what St Paul in that first reading emphasised — cherish the gift of Wisdom and invest it well . . . accomplish great things for the benefit of humanity.

Can any of you recall an experience of being “looked down upon”? This often happens to families that come to Australia bringing a new cultural experience to our society. I hope this has not been part of life here at Salesian College.

As you go from the supportive atmosphere of the College Community to enrol at University, to begin a Traineeship or an Apprenticeship or wherever your next step takes you, there is most likely to be an experience of being “looked down upon” and you will be tempted to complain — ‘My genius goes unrecognised, my talent unappreciated, my dreams scorned.’

Be assured this is not a unique experience. Remember the encouragement Jesus shared with us in the Gospel read this evening.
Remember great people like Don Bosco, the founder of the Salesians, experienced loneliness and hardship as he set about providing education and guidance for young people in need; he endeavoured to shield them from the despondency of being “looked down upon”.
He never lost HOPE; he trusted in God, and just knew in his heart that the fire in his passion for the good of needy young people, must continue to burn brightly.

You will wrestle with challenges — you will probably call into question the teachings of authorities in whom you have trusted implicitly; I hope you DO question such arrangements as the Government has in place for Refugees at the moment; in your busy lives you will wonder about the direction you should take.

It is then that you will come back to realize the profound value of family and friends. It is then that the bonds you have forged here at Salesian College will really count.

FAITH shows us that we are never alone. Divine Energy, the abiding presence of our loving God will remain with you. That presence shelters us from suffering or gives us the strength to face it with dignity. You can go further than you think. Seek out the place where the morning star is born.
With Divine Energy to empower us and the abiding presence of the Wisdom of God to guide us, there is no doubt our goals can be attained.

As you pass out the gates of Salesian College remember to retain the assured confidence that you carry with you, that with which Divine Energy has empowered you.
Be assured that anyone who presumes to “look down upon you” is making a great mistake. Be who you are and continue to BECOME !
Shortly, in this celebration of Thanksgiving (EUCHARIST) we bring BREAD and WINE — symbols of life — to the altar to be offered and we recall how Jesus proclaimed “DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME”
As the fire in the oven transforms wheaten doe into BREAD,
As the spirit in the Wine ignites our passion to LIVE, so may your lives flourish.

CLASS of 2015, the Salesian College Community, with confidence and pride, sends you forth in the hope that you will be continually transformed so as to be, like Jesus, THE BREAD OF LIFE and the WINE OF JOY to many as you journey on.


Fr John Papworth
College Rector