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From the Rector
I understand this is the last e-Newsletter for this year, which brings to conclusion the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the foundation of Salesian College Chadstone.
On behalf of the Salesians, I would like to thank the Principal, Mr Rob Brennan, and all the staff at Salesian College for highlighting this 60th Anniversary throughout the year, from the liturgies, to sporting events, from the celebration of academic achievements to past pupil functions, from parental involvement to the inauguration of a new statue of Don Bosco and a student in the plaza of the College, leading up to the Chapel…
As I said to the boys at one of our recent school masses, I hope they will all be around in 40 years’ time to celebrate the 100th Anniversary. What will the world be like 40 years from now? But even more importantly, will this College still be a Catholic school then? And will it be a Salesian school? A lot will depend on the boys who attend this College now. They are the “heirs” and the “keepers” of the tradition and the ethos of the College. They are facing enormous challenges from the secular culture that seems to dominate every aspect of society. Christianity and its value system is struggling for air, it is represented by a minority of the population, and it is declining (if not altogether rejected) as a guiding source of inspiration and moral decision-making. Recent events and political decisions at all levels leave me very fearful for the future.
Every day I hope and pray that our boys will become “great men” whose life and behaviour are firmly founded on Gospel values – and, as Don Bosco used to say, show unashamedly that they are “good Christians and honest citizens”.
We are only a few weeks’ away from Christmas. The shops have already made it clear that what is important to them is selling goods and making a profit, exploiting a sacred religious event (the birth of the Son of God) that changed the world, into another secular celebration of enormous proportions. In the context of my reflections above, we should ask ourselves: What does Christmas mean for me and my family? Will the religious dimension play any part? Why not make an effort to attend some religious service (apart from listening to or watching some Christmas carols on TV)? Jesus was born in poverty, why not help a worthy cause that provides assistance to poor people…
With this, I wish all the members of the College community a happy conclusion of the school year, a safe holiday period, a holy and blessed Christmas, and a great start for 2018.
Be assured of the prayers and good wishes of the Salesian Community.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB