Salesians farewell Brooklyn Park

Giving thanks for the Salesians at Brooklyn Park, S.A. (1943-2017)

A special Mass of Thanksgiving and light refreshments, symbolic gifts, a cake and a large gathering of parishioners and old friends, were the markers of the celebration of seventy four years of service by the Salesian priests and brothers in Brooklyn Park, South Australia.

The principal celebrant of the Mass in St.John Bosco Church was the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Father Philip Marshall. He was representing Archbishop Philip Wilson who was on leave. Representing the Salesians of Don Bosco was Father Greg Chambers, the Provincial of the Australia-Pacific Province. Other Salesians concelebrating at the thanksgiving Mass were the former parish priests, Father Germano Baiguini, Father Michael Keogh, and Father Nicholas Castelyns, current parish priest Father Joseph Lee, and a former Rector of Salesian College Brooklyn Park, Father Michael Ledda. The ceremonies took place on Sunday 26 November 2017.

Other visiting Salesians were Brother Michael Lynch, a past Principal of Salesian College Brooklyn Park, and Brother Michael Harris, the foundation Director of Don Bosco Youth Hostel Brooklyn Park. They were joined by visiting Salesian Sisters: Sister Jenny Doudle and Sister Patricia McCusker, who shared in the leadership of Don Bosco Youth Hostel, and also Sister Helen McMahon, a previous principal of St.John Bosco School Brooklyn Park.

Members of the Salesian Family present included Salesian Co-operators and Salesian Past Pupils. At the celebration there were numerous current and past staff members of St.John Bosco School Brooklyn Park and Tenison Woods Catholic School Richmond as well as past parents from the college; and present students and parents of the parish schools.

The co-chair of the Parish Pastoral Council of the Parish of St.John Bosco and St.Aloysius at Brooklyn Park and Richmond, Mr.John Mahoney, welcomed everyone to the Mass, particularly the Salesian priests, brothers, and sisters from interstate. Towards the end of Mass, Fr. Marshall conveyed the thanks and affection of the Archbishop and the Archdiocese. He noted that the Salesians were not leaving the archdiocese. Instead they are consolidating their presence at Gawler.

Then the other co-chair of the Parish Pastoral Council Mrs. Eva Cooper recalled the early years of the Salesians in Brooklyn Park and their subsequent ministry. She concluded by presenting a monstrance to the Salesians. This was the idea of the parish council, to present a symbolic gift to the new Salesian Parish of Saint John Bosco, Nasinu, in the Fiji Islands. It was thought that the monstrance would be a positive and spiritual means of retaining a link of the Brooklyn Park/Richmond Parish with the Salesians’ missionary work overseas.

Then Fr.Chambers accepted the monstrance with gratitude on behalf of the Salesians. He particularly acknowledged Archbishop Matthew Beovich who invited the Salesians to come to Brooklyn Park. They arrived in 1943. The Provincial also paid his respects to Archbishop Philip Wilson and previous archbishops. Father Chambers then presented a framed portrait of St.John Bosco to the parish, one of the more popular paintings of the “father and teacher of youth.”

During the refreshments, the parish priest Fr.Lee gave the vote of thanks to all who assisted with the Mass and hospitality. He invited Fr.Chambers, representing past and present Salesians, to cut the cake from the parish. Parish volunteers served this cake out to all gathered.  


Reported by Fr Joseph Lee SDB

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