Double youth celebration in Australia-Pacific Province
MELBOURNE: 28 October 2011 — The weekend from Friday to Sunday, 14-16 October, was marked by two different celebrations of the Salesian Youth Movement: one in Australia and the other in Samoa.
The celebration in Australia was further development of what is becoming an annual celebration of OzBosco. It was held on the Valdocco Campus of St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully. Accommodation and all the meals (at Dromana and Ferntree Gully) were provided by the Don Bosco Camp staff. The celebration in Samoa was called “A Celebration of Salesian Youth.” It was held at Don Bosco Technical Centre, Alafua.
These events were marked by a gathering of young people from across Salesian works, and from the province’s various leadership groups. There were more than 150 young people at Ferntree Gully, and a feature of the celebration was that it was entirely planned and run by young people themselves. It was fun-filled, reflective, and a powerful experience of the richness that is generated when a group of like-minded young people who love Don Bosco gather together. The theme for the weekend was Sharing our experience of the Salesian Charism.
One of the features of the Australian experience was the large gathering of FMA Sisters. They were with the young people across all three days, and played an important animating role in all the events. The best advertisement for the FMAs and the SDBs is the FMAs and the SDBs.
The same quality appeared in the large number of young people from the three Salesian Parishes and Youth Centres and two schools in Samoa. The theme of this weekend was Be Joyful. One of the features of this Pacific weekend was the exposure of the young people to forms of prayer that is entirely new to them: e.g. Taizé prayer. Every Salesian currently working in Samoa spent all or part of the time with
youngsters from both Upolu and Savai’i.