January 31 marks the feast day of Don Bosco and so, it was only fitting that members of the Salesian family from around Melbourne gathered at the parish church of St Margret Mary, to celebrate the life of the man that had brought them all together.

Provincial Fr Will Matthews led the celebration, concelebrated by an array of Salesian priests and the beautiful music was put on by a great cross-section of Salesian priests, sisters, brothers and lay. It was parish priest Fr Anthony Nguyen who preached the homily however, speaking about the incredible gift of Don Bosco and his love and affection for young people.

Fr Will Blesses wineFr Will blesses the wine during the Eucharistic prayer.

Delving into this subject even deeper, Anthony posited that the reason Don Bosco loved young people so much was because he knew that it was by journeying with them that he himself he could reach God – a fine example for all of us to follow.

Anthony reminded the congregation of Jesus’ call for all people to be more childlike; citing how children in the playground can come to blows, forgive each other and then be playing again as if nothing had happened, all within the space of 20 minutes – yet many adults hang on to petty grudges for a lifetime!

Fr Anthony gives homilyFr Anthony preferred to give his homily amongst the people rather than at the lecturn.

Those in attendance certainly braved a rather startling contrast in weather; as they were entering the church the heavy heat could be felt; the barometer was sitting on about 43°c and yet, within 20 minutes after mass ended, the first signs of rain could be felt.

Don Bosco Feast day bandFrom start to finish, the choir did a great job of providing music for the celebration.

Nevertheless, celebrations continued on into the nearby school hall, where food and drink were provided – after all, it wouldn’t be a feast day celebration without a feed! Here, all gathered cheerfully caught up with one another, swapping stories, sharing a meal and having a laugh!

Don Bosco Feast day feastEveryone gathered in the school hall after mass for a friendly catchup and a meal!

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