Most of the Salesian Provinces, Vice-Provinces, Delegations and the Salesian houses in Africa and Madagascar are relatively new, compared to the other regions of the Congregation. They are in the foundational stage or the early stages of consolidation. This motivates us to strive to ensure fidelity to our Salesian identity, to offer young people, society and the Church in Africa what is most precious in our Salesian heritage.
On 22 November 1963, at 2.30 p.m. central time, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. An hour earlier, across the Atlantic, C.S. Lewis had died at his home in Oxford.
Today, fifty years after his death, his global readership dwarfs the readership that he enjoyed in his own lifetime. His classic children’s story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is one of the top ten bestselling books of all time, and it would be no exaggeration to say that there is now a whole C.S. Lewis industry generating millions of dollars in sales of his books and the film and television adaptations of his life and his work.
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.
The long awaited day for Filomena Tanuvasa arrived on Saturday, 7 December 2014, at Engadine, NSW. Filomena, the second year novice of the Salesian Sisters of the South Pacific Region,was about to make her First Profession as a Salesian Sister in the presence of family members from Australia, New Zealand and Samoa and many Salesian Sisters and friends.
On 8 December 2013, Faye Mary Aboghazaleh made her final profession as a Salesian Sister, belonging to the SPR region of our institute. The feast of the Immaculate Conception has always been a special feast for Faye and our Congregation. Faye used the theme, since her first profession, from the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
Agriculture plays an important role in the economic development of the Philippines. This is because the country is rich in natural resources. The majority of its population is dependent on agriculture as a source of its economic living. However, the concentration of poor families can be found in the rural areas, particularly in the upland communities.
In December 2013 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference held the very first Australian Catholic Youth Festival. The event was hosted by the diocese of Melbourne and over 3,000 young people attended from all over Australia.
The Salesians of Don Bosco arrived at St Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Avondalel, 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.
In just under two years, the Bosco Social Justice Group has raised over $40,000 towards its initial projects in Maliana, Timor-Leste. These projects, the refurbishment of infants’ classrooms and the building of a community weaving centre, are now well under way. What is striking about this achievement is that the fundraising has been a collaborative effort. Strong support has come from local schools, including St John Bosco Primary School and St John Bosco College, residents of John Paul Village, the whole parish community and the wider Engadine community.
31st January and 1st February have traditionally been occasions for professions (31st) and for the new batch of novices to commence their novitiate (1st), for the Australia-Pacific Province. 2014 has been no exception.
Given that the ordinations in Korea were attended by the Provincial of the Australia-Pacific Province, the Vice Provincial, Fr Bernie Graham, undertook to travel to Fiji, where the novitiate, post novitiate and theologate are located, all but the first being more specifically for Pacifican Salesians.