Sunday 22 May was marked by two significant events at Salesian College, Chadstone, rolled into one. In the presence of a fine congregation made up of Salesians (including 3 past Principals of Chadstone), past and present staff, past and present students and parents, and the people who had directed the construction and the art work that now is such a feature of the renewed Chapel, Bishop Tim Costelloe celebrated the Eucharist, commemorated the relic already embedded in the altar, and dedicated the new altar.
This Chapel is a “must see” for all who come to Melbourne. The spectacular front doors, recapturing the dream of the nine year old John Bosco, and some of its consequences, flow into a beautiful use of wood, stone and metal throughout the chapel. The Provincial gave the homily, and Fr. Chris Ford thanked all involved. Especially impressive was the response of the construction company and the artist, indicating that this project was more than just “another job.” As the artist said to me: “We must go on telling our story. It is so important, and a future will be all the poorer if we stop telling it.”
Immediately following the Eucharist and Dedication, we all moved into the re-designed and renewed Rua Resource Centre, which replaces the old Library. The reconstruction generates light and space. It creates a wonderful opportunity for our boys to learn in a rich and comfortable context with heightened IT access to resources. A beautiful original portrait of Blessed Don Rua by Michael Harris marks the entry to the Resource Centre.
Fr Provincial blessed the renewed facility, and Bishop Tim gave the assembly a final blessing. A copious morning tea followed in the Hall, and it was great to chat with so many old friends from that part of the world. Especially gratifying was the Presence of Kevin and Marie Ford, Fr. Chris’ Mum and Dad, who had come from Queensland (Toowoomba, no less!). They were justifiably proud of what Fr. Chris has put in motion in his strategic plan for the development of Salesian College, Chadstone.
Thank you to Fr. Chris, to Bishop Tim, and to everyone involved in this wonderful project.