Over 350 young people, some parents and teachers from Samoa, New Zealand and different parts of Australia gathered at Salesian College in Sunbury Victoria last weekend to celebrate the annual gathering of the Salesian youth, the OzBosco.
This year being the bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco, the focus was purely on Don Bosco, his life and mission.
The celebration began with a special liturgy led by the ASYM, Australian Salesian Youth Mentors, under the supervision of Sr Rochelle Lamb FMA on Friday 27th March. Following the liturgy, the principal of Salesian College Mr Mark Brockhus and the Youth Ministry Delegate Fr Bernie Graham SDB welcomed all participants coming from near and far.
On Saturday morning 28th March, the keynote speech was delivered by Fr Chris Ford SDB, principal of Don Bosco Technical College in Alafua Samoa. Fr Chris spoke about the life and mission of Don Bosco, and challenged every young person to live the dream of St John Bosco.
Being a typical Salesian youth gathering, there were plenty of singing and dancing. A number of different workshops were held throughout the weekend for the young.
On Sunday morning, there was a presentation from the Salesian seminarians from the Don Bosco House in Clifton Hill. They spoke about their life experiences here in Australia and back in their own countries. Some of these seminarians come from East Timor and Thailand.
A special highlight of the Sunday morning sessions was the presentation of the life of St John Bosco by the talented youth from New Zealand. Their dance, singing and performance was just breathtaking. Two standing ovations were given to them. These talented and excited youth have come from the two Salesian parishes in Auckland.
This year the OzBosco gathering was so blessed to have Bishop Mark Edward OMI, a long time friend of the Salesians, as the principal celebrant for the concluding Eucharist at 2:00 PM on Sunday. It was also the celebration of the Passion Sunday. Bishop Mark highlighted the story of Don Bosco and Dominic Savio in his homily encouraging the youth to live the joy of Salesian spirit in their day to day life.
As usual, the OzBosco is getting bigger and better each year.
Many youth were feeling sad to go home on Sunday afternoon after making many friends over the weekend. Yet, they will be counting down on the next OzBosco in 2016.