Particpants stop for a photo as the centenary celebration begun with a mass at Salesian College, Sunbury

The Salesians of Don Bosco celebrate 100 years of their presence in Australia in 2023 and centenary celebrations begun at the Mother House in Sunbury, Melbourne on 24th January, the feast day of patron St Francis de Sales.

The Provincial led the Eucharist at the college chapel that was attended by many members of the Salesian Family and a number of benefactors. Following the Eucharist, a special monument of benefactors was blessed and opened by the Provincial, with the support of Fr Frank Bertagnolli, near the Salesian community in Sunbury. Benefactors were acknowledged and thanked for their support in various Salesian missions.

Provinical Fr Will Matthews blesses the monument as Fr Frank Bertagnolli (right) and Mr Joe Richardson (left) watch on

A much bigger celebration was held at St Francis Catholic Church in the city center of Melbourne on Saturday 28th January with a solemn Eucharist led by the Salesian Archbishop of Perth, Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, during which five new Salesian priests were ordained before the members of the Provincial Council, a large number of Salesian sisters, priests and Brothers together with many families and friends that filled the church to its capacity.

The five new priests come from Australia, Samoa and Vietnam namely Fr Jeff Miller, Fr Kevin Fiame, Fr Eteuati Milo, Fr Duc Tran and Fr Joseph Huong. Fr Jeff and Fr Joseph have been assigned to the Salesian Community in St Marys, Sydney. Fr Kevin will be an Assistant priest at St John Bosco community in Engadine, Sydney. Fr Duc Tran will assist at St Joseph’s College in Ferntree Gully, Melbourne while being part of the community at Lysterfield, and Fr Ete Milo will travel to Auckland, New Zealand as an Assistant to the parish in Massey. 

FRONT: Fr Eteuati (far left), Fr Joesph (second from left), Fr Jeff (far right), Fr Duc (second from right) Fr Kevin (third from right)

At the conclusion of the Eucharist, the Provincial Fr Will Matthews thanked the congregation for their prayer and support to the Salesian Family and invited young men and women to journey with the Salesians as consecrated people for the salvation of souls through education.

The Salesians first arrived in Western Australia on Friday 30th March 1923 and they were warmly welcomed by fellow religious, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in Fremantle. After a few difficult years they then relocated to Melbourne in 1927.