The tenth successor of St John Bosco and the Rector of the Salesians, Fr Angel Artime SDB arrived Melbourne in the morning on 14th May. The Rector Major was accompanied by Fr Vaclav Klement; Australia and Pacific provincial Fr Greg Chambers; Rector Major’s Secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez; and Fr Jacob Iruppakkaattu, a member of the Social Communications department.
The Rector Major and the team were welcomed at Melbourne airport by a number of young people, students, many Salesians and a Salesian Sister.
He was then driven to the Salesian College and Community at Sunbury, the Mother House of the Province, by the provincial. Fr Angle was welcome by the Salesians and the students of the Salesian College in Sunbury at Salesian residence.
The Rector Major shared a lunch with the Salesian community including some Salesians from other communities and two former Salesian provincials.
In the afternoon, the Salesian College students and staff welcomed Fr Angel with a whole school assembly with some singing and presentations. Spoken to the assembly in Italian, translated into English by Fr Klement, was well received by all students and staff. The assembly was concluded with a Hymn to Don Bosco led by Sr Rochelle Lamb FMA. Following the assembly, Fr Angel went among the students and staff giving them photo opportunities and greeting them in person.
An afternoon tea was served in the Salesian College Mansion after the school assembly for the Rector Major. He had a very sociable time with some students and staff of the college.
Later in the same afternoon, the Rector Major toured around the college before visiting the Salesian Cemetery in the college ground. He prayed and thanked the Salesians of the past as well as the present Salesians of the province. While in the cemetery, he also thanked the lay collaborators of the Salesians. He particularly congratulated and thanked the first lay principal of the college, Mr Mark Brockhus, for his outstanding work in the college.
A special dinner was held in the Rupertswood mansion in the evening to welcome the Rector Major to the province. Many Salesians, Salesian Sisters, lay collaborators and young people were present. Fr Angle managed to go around and greeted every individual person. During the dinner, Fr Greg Chambers welcomed him once again into the province. Fr Angel also spoke, translated by Fr Klement, to the gathering and thanked them for their collaboration and their hard work.
Following the dinner, Fr Angle and the team were taken to the Province Centre for a night of rest.
He will be visiting the Archbishop of Melbourne on Friday before speaking to the Salesian Youth Gathering at St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully.