The Salesian Community at Lysterfield in Victoria is a vibrant community serving the spiritual, educational and pastoral needs of the surrounding suburbs and beyond. The Salesians of this community provide spiritual needs of the many at its Retreat Centre under the capable hands of Fr Martin Tanti. Br Michael Harris, Fr John Prest and Fr Jim Acreman minister at St Joseph’s college in Ferntree Gully to its secondary students and staff. Each priest of this community also provides sacramental needs to the neighbouring parishes.
The longest serving member of this community, Br. Silvio Quarranta, celebrated 70 years of Salesian life on August 16 with the community and a few local friends. It was great fun with Br. Silvio taking on centre stage. Br Silvio was not short for words. They only wished they could have that celebration every week.
In recent days, the retreat centre hosted a retreat day for 150 staff from Mt. Lilydale College, a three day retreat for the Religious Education Coordinators from the Sale Diocese, and a day of prayer for 51 Iraqi women. Fr. Martin Tanti led all this from the front with Fr. John Prest giving him an occasional push in the back. The retreat input consisted of Eucharist, Reconciliation, insights into the Beatitudes blended with thoughts of Pope Francis and questions tailored to the needs of the group.
The retreat centre also hosted 30 members of the Christian Motocycle Association who stayed a long weekend. There were a surprisingly large number of these bikers (note, not Bikies) in each State.
Three Burmese seminarians from Corpus Christi Seminary in Melbourne also visited the Retreat Centre last weekend to meet up with the Salesians and to have a taste of a retreat environment.
Lysterfield is a busy and happy Salesian community for sure. Still, the community only becomes really excited when a sleep-in is agreed on. That’s as it should be for a hard working community.