The ordinations on 24 January – in the presence of 1600 people including representation by all Salesian Family Groups, 60 concelebrating priests, amongst whom two Australian Salesians – were at the hands of the emeritus Archbishop of Kwangju and great friend of the Salesians, Archbishop Andrew Choi Chang Moo.
Fr Pascal Chavez Villanueva, who has been the Salesian Rector Major for the last 12 years, finishes his constitutional term of office during the forthcoming General Chapter in March when his successor will elected. Fr Chavez, a Mexican, was born on 20 December 1947. He attended the Salesian school, “Colegio Mexico”; this is where his vocation began and he pursued his goal of following Don Bosco. He made his first profession as a Salesian in August 1964, his perpetual profession at Guadalajara in August 1970, and was ordained a priest on the 8 December 1973.
A recent discussion on what was the main cause of the turbulent times we live in attracted my attention. Some claimed it was the widespread disrespect for authority, others the lack of moral values, while others still opted for the spread of violence, the return of ‘the primitive tiger’ forever lurking in our nature. I pondered for days over what would be my response. The more I pondered, the more I became convinced that all the arguments advanced were valid but were in themselves symptoms of something deeper. So often many springs of water appearing on the surface are fed by a wellspring, hidden from view.
On 8 December 2013, the official logo of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco was released. It will accompany all the commemorative celebrations of the year, scheduled to last from 16 August 2014 to 16 August 2015. The theme will be: “The Mission of Don Bosco with and for young people.” The icon is simple but full of meaning. It depicts graphically the impact of the figure of Don Bosco and that of young people and the Salesian Family. They are the main actors in a history of Christian friendship that is now approaching two centuries.
We are an average family blessed with four beautiful daughters, and we relish discovering and exploring the world with our backpacks. We have recently returned from a fourweek backpacking adventure through Myanmar/Burma. Currently, I'm the Alumni Relations Manager for Salesian College Sunbury where my eldest daughter, Charlie (12) attends year 7 and my other three daughters Ashley (11), Billie (9) and Dacey (8) attend Holy Cross Primary School. We saved, planned and experienced the trip of a lifetime to Myanmar, and combined our passion for travel with making adifference and helping people in Myanmar.
The Salesians of Don Bosco arrived at St Mary's of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Avondale, at the end of January 2013 with Fr Mathew Vadakkevettuvazhiyil SDB and Fr James Adayadiel SDB being our Parish priests. It was with great joy that the Salesians were welcomed to the parish. It was earlier in the year while talking with Fr James, who was in Samoa for over 30 years, that the discussion about a Salesian High School in Samoa came up. I have been a parishioner at St Mary's for over 18 years and I teach at Auckland Grammar, a State high school for 2500 boys. It was coming up for me to have a sabbatical and I thought it would be an opportunity for me to offer my services at the high school in Samoa. I had a discussion with Fr James and he was thrilled with the idea and said he would contact the Salesian priests in Samoa and let them know of my interest.
The Salesian Sisters are well established in Timor Leste having set up their first community in 1988.
One of the pioneers was Sister Paola Battagliola, the current Provincial. It was with great pride that she told me how God had blessed their work over the past 25 years. With just a handful of Sisters in the first community, the Province today numbers 86, of whom 74 are Timorese born. In addition there are a further 27 young women in special formation programs to discern whether they have a vocation to the FMAs. There are 12 communities – 10 in Timor Leste and two in Indonesia (Jakarta and Sumba).
The harvestings of the years
The Salesian Sisters are well established in Timor Leste having set up their first community in 1988. One of the…Read more...
The Salesians in Africa-Madagascar
Most of the Salesian Provinces, Vice-Provinces, Delegations and the Salesian houses in Africa and Madagascar are relatively new, compared to…Read more...
Don Bosco's Grand Plan for Holiness
Cheerfulness, Duties, Piety Don Bosco promoted his grand Programme of holiness, "cheerfulness, duties and piety", amongst his boys at the…Read more...