The Don Bosco Youth Centre, St Marys, celebrated its 25th anniversary of service to needy youth in Western Sydney. The 23rd ran as a family fun day, with extra attractions, a BBQ, and DJ, attended by approximately 500 people who have frequented or volunteered at the centre throughout the past 25 years. The 24th was a more formal occasion, commencing with a thanksgiving mass at the neighboring church of Our Lady of the Rosary, presided over by the youth centre’s initiator and founding director, Fr Peter Kerrin SDB.
The formal celebration was an opportunity for both the youth centre directors to thank the many staff, volunteers, and benefactors who have supported the centre’s mission, and for representatives of the local church, government, and Salesian family (Vicar General Fr. Peter Williams and Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta Diocese, Bede Heather; Mayor of Local Council, John Thain, and Member of NSW Parliament, Tanya Davies; SDB Vice Provincial, Fr. Bernard Graham SDB and FMA Provincial, Sr. Edna-Mary MacDonald FMA ) to thank and congratulate the centre for its invaluable contribution to the community. The anniversary weekend was also graced with the presence of Br. Stan Rosatto SDB, the centre’s longest serving director (17 years) who made a special trip from Fiji to catch up with his many friends, as well as the first FMA co-director, Sr. Matalena Leota FMA. The youth centre’s current directors, Fr. Jan Walenciej SDB and Sr. Jenny Doudle FMA, expressed their sincerest gratitude to the team of parishioners who spent months organizing the logistics, catering, decoration, and supervision of the large and joyous occasion.
Today, co-directed and staffed by an SDB and FMA community, the youth centre continues to operate 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, 45 weeks a year, to provide safe and friendly recreation facilities to thousands of local young people each year.
By Br Jeff Miller SDB