After a hectic schedule of Masses and times for veneration all within the regular Sunday timetable of Parish Celebrations at Holy Redeemer Church in East Oakleigh, Sacred Heart Church in Oakleigh and St Peter’s Church in Clayton, the Statue moved on to the Religious Centre at Monash University. The Religious Centre is a multi-faith Chapel and facilities where “Catholics on Campus” had reserved a period for veneration from 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon until 5:00 p.m. Bishop Tim Costelloe SDB arrived during this time to lead the celebration of Eucharist on this special occasion. Bishop Costelloe is the Vicar for Education in the Archdiocese and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mannix College (the Catholic Residential College at Monash University).
During the period of reflection and veneration, Fr Laurie Foote OP, Catholic Chaplain at the University, lead the Rosary interspersed with reflections from the life of Don Bosco. During this time the gathering gradually swelled as students and members of the Catholic Community at the University joined in and prepared for the Mass with Bishop Costelloe. During the Mass the Bishop linked the theme of the First Sunday of Lent with Don Bosco’s generous commitment to serve the Church by gathering and forming young people. He indicated, with reference to St Dominic Savio, how Don Bosco found his penance in being ready to respond to the needs of others around him no matter what the inconvenience or personal ‘cost’.
With over two hundred people present and the choir leading the music for the Mass, this was a memorable and enriching community experience of which, as the Bishop noted, Don Bosco would be very proud to have such a gathering of young people join him for the celebration of the Eucharist in this fitting manner.
After the celebration of Eucharist, the Catholic Community hosted a social barbecue for all present. At this time the Statue of Don Bosco was quietly replaced in the transporting vehicle and prepared to leave this area of Melbourne to spend the next week visiting Salesian Centres around the Western and Northern part of the city of Melbourne while being based at the parish of St Margret Mary in North Brunswick, where the Salesians have a considerable presence.