A conference to mark the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Birth of St John Bosco was held in Geelong in Victoria with a large number of Salesians, Salesian Sisters, Salesian Cooperators and many lay collaborators of the province of Mary Help of Christians [Australia & Pacific].
Fr Joe Boenzi SDB from the United States was the main presenter of the conference. He presented on many important and relevant topics of St John Bosco. A few Salesians and lay participants also contributed in leading various sessions each afternoon during the conference.
Eucharistic celebrations and liturgies were rich in meaning and symbolism, uplifted significantly by the excellent voices of the young Salesians from the Pacific and from Melbourne.
Being a major event of the year, thirteen jubilarians were acknowledged and celebrated on Wednesday 22nd January with a special Mass and dinner. On behalf of the province, Fr Jim Acreman SDB proposed a toast to every single jubilarian during dinner. Fr Peter Karin, on behalf of the jubilarians, responded and thanked the province with a very moving tribute.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth also graced the occasion by spending three days at the conference. It was so good to see the archbishop spending time with his Salesian family.
The concluding gala dinner was held at the Cunningham Pier in Geelong on the beautiful Friday evening with all participants. It was a celebration to remember.
The Bicentenary Conference was concluded with a Eucharist led by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe on Saturday morning, a day dedicated to the patron of the Salesian family, St Francis de Sales.
More celebrations are planned to be celebrated throughout the year in the various parts of the province in 2015.