‘I don’t believe in Christmas anymore!’ she blurted out, scattering her coloured packages all over the floor with a mixture of frustration and exhaustion. ‘Well, if that is Christmas, neither do I’, I thought with approval and compassion. At the same time, I became aware of a sad realisation welling up, a sense of pity reminding me of the old adage about ‘throwing away the baby with the bathwater’. ‘This person no longer believes in life’ – I thought – ‘nor does she believe in future or self-worth anymore.’
If we were to stop and reflect on the impact that the twenty-five Cagliero Project volunteers have had on Salesian communities around the world, we would be reflecting for a very long time! The current and past volunteers have shared their skills through the work they have done in Salesian communities in Thailand, Cambodia, Solomon Islands, Samoa and, most recently, Zambia. They have all given up their time to dedicate themselves to young people through volunteering in various Salesian missions.
Provincial Superiors of the nine provinces, which constitute the Salesian Region of East Asia/Oceania, held their annual meeting at Lysterfield retreat centre from Tuesday November 19th to Saturday 24th. Fr Francis Cereda, member of the Salesian General Council in Rome, and Fr Andrew Wong, Regional Councillor, joined the Provincials.
Since January 2013, Declan Crowe and I have been volunteering at Don Bosco High School in Salelologa, Savai’I, Samoa, for the Salesians’ Cagliero Project. As volunteers, we were welcomed into this wonderful community; however, we soon became aware of a number of struggles in day-to-day living for locals, including inadequate healthcare, financial hardships and limited transport options, just to name a few. So, in April this year, while enjoying lunch, we didn’t think twice about helping when our Principal Fr Mosese proposed a novel idea to address the lack of affordable transport for students to travel to and from Don Bosco High School.
On 17 September 2013, a record number of more than 250 young people aged 16 – 26 gathered at St Michael’s Parish, Leauva’a, to celebrate this year’s SamBosco. In addition to the large contingent of youth from Leauva’a parish, other participants joined the gathering of Salesian youth from St Francis de Sales parish in Salelologa, St John Bosco parish in Sinamoga/Moamoa, Don Bosco High School and Vocational Centre in Salelologa and Don Bosco Technical Centre in Alafua. We were also especially blest this year to welcome the youth associated with the Salesian Sisters involvement in the parish at Malololelei.
Sister Sarah Hanley passed to her eternal home on 4 August 2013 at John Paul Village in Engadine after a period of ill health. She was fondly farewelled at a Funeral Mass which was presided over by Fr Michael Court, parish priest, at St Bosco Parish Church in Engadine on Wednesday 7 August, and at a second funeral Mass at St Jude’s Parish Church, Scoresby, on Friday 9 August, which was led by Fr Greg Chambers, Provincial, who welcomed the congregation. “ Today we come together to celebrate the wonderful life and unique contribution of Sister Sarah Hanley, follower of Maria Domenica Mazzarello and Daughter of Ireland, and a tremendous model of joy, simplicity, compassion and service to all those who were fortunate to come in contact with her.”
John had dropped in on his friend Jeff and found him very much down in the dumps. Life, Jeff felt, was passing him by. Things were not going well at work and still worse at home. He was snappy and arguing with his family even over small things. Feeling sorry for himself, he began to think of himself as a failure.
Repeatedly he asked the question "How do I fit into this sorry scheme of things?" and often thought "It would be better if I moved out."
Interview with Bishop Luc
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John had dropped in on his friend Jeff and found him very much down in the dumps. Life, Jeff felt,…Read more...
EAO Provincials Annual Meeting
Provincial Superiors of the nine provinces, which constitute the Salesian Region of East Asia/Oceania, held their annual meeting at Lysterfield…Read more...