In the evening on 30th January 2018, many Salesian priests, brothers, sisters, members of the Salesian family and parishioners from Australian, Italian, Vietnamese and Burmese communities gathered at St Margaret Mary’s parish in Brunswick to celebrate the Feast of St John Bosco and the installation of the New Provincial, Fr William Matthews SDB.
The Mass was presided by Rev. Vaclav Klement SDB, the Councillor of East Asia – Oceania. Among the con-celebrants, there were some former provincials like Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB, Fr. John Murphy SDB, Fr. Frank Moloney SDB and many other Salesian Priests, Diocesan Priests including Fr Peter Myo Aung the parish priest of St. Joseph’s parish in Mandalay, Myanmar where Fr Will grew up as a boy.
At the beginning of the gathering, Fr Anthony Nguyen SDB, Parish Priest and Rector of Brunswick community, welcomed all faithful to join in the celebration by singing Here I am Lord together.
The hymn reflected well in the celebration as Fr William starts his new role and duties as the provincial of Australia-Pacific province.
Fr Klement then greeted the community and passed on the greetings from the Rector Major. Fr Klement said he was happy to be with the Australia-Pacific Province to celebrate the feast of St John Bosco and this very important moment of the province. He also invited the congregation to pray for the young Brothers in Fiji who would be professing their first vows as Salesians.
The First Reading was read by Sister Helen McMahon FMA and the Second Reading read by Agnes Thang from the Burmese community. Deacon Lourenco Soarez SDB, a Timorese Salesian studying in Melbourne, read the gospel and assisted in the Eucharist.
In his homily, Fr Klement reflected the inspiration from the Word of God into the life of St John Bosco who passed it onto the present Salesian life. He also presented a book of Don Bosco with many original photos of Don Bosco to Fr Will encouraging him to live like Don Bosco in his mission to the young in Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji.
Following the homily, The Rite of the Installation of New Provincial with the Profession of Faith took place with the signing of the official documents before Fr Klement.
Magically, the Don Bosco Vietnamese choir sang most hymns in English and some in Vietnamese. The congregation was also very impressed with a liturgical dance performed by a group of young people from the Salesian Youth Club of the Parish.
After the communion, Fr Will Matthews expressed his gratutude to God and those attended the celebration particularly to Fr Klement, Fr Anthony Quang and all members of the Salesian Family. The Eucharist was concluded with the Hymn To Don Bosco composed by Sr Rochelle Lamb FMA.
The celebration continued with a variety of food provided in the Parish Hall where all shared a happy moment together in honour of St. John Bosco.
By Fr. Anthony Nguyen SDB