The Rectors and a community leader from the Province of Mary Help of Christians [Australia & Pacific] gathered at the Province Centre in Ascot Vale near Melbourne for a meeting on 19-20 September 2017.
On the first day, the provincial, Fr Greg Chambers, presented the matters of the province. After morning break, Fr Bernie Graham presented and led a discussion on Salesian ministry to families, the accountability, and the Salesian Strenna 2018. Fr John Papworth was a main presenter in the afternoon on the topic of safe-guarding & protection of children in Salesian ministry. The Delegate of the Pacific, Fr Petelo Vito Pau, also presented the situation of the newly established delegation. The afternoon was concluded with a presentation on the care of the elderly Salesians in the Province by Br Michael Harris. The first day came to a successful conclusion with a Eucharist led by Fr William Matthews, the elected provincial for 2018-2023, then followed by an enjoyable fraternal dinner.
The first session on the second day, 20th September, was led by Fr William Matthews sharing of his experience as an elected provincial, and his recent encounter with the Rector Major and the General Councillors in Rome. This presentation was followed by the Delegate of Formation, Fr Phil Gleeson, who presented the formation matters of the province with a particular focus on students at Don Bosco House in Clifton Hill. Fr Phil was followed by the Provincial Economer, Fr Anthony Nguyen, reporting on the financial situation of the province and the focus projects at Don Bosco Camp in Safety Beach and building of Youth Centre and Parish Centre in Fiji.
Fr Greg Chambers led the midday Eucharist with a special highlight on St. Francis de Sales, the patron of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Fr Greg also thanked the Rectors for their hard work and cooperation in the last six years.
The Rectors’ Meeting was concluded with an afternoon session on evaluation and resolutions before a concluding liturgy and blessing from the provincial, Fr Greg Chambers SDB.
The three new rectors who joined the rank in 2017 are Fr Martin Tanti of Lysterfield, Fr Paselio Tevaga of Suva in Fiji and Fr Jan Walenciej of St. Marys in New South Wales.