Rector Major’s Visit to Province of Australia-Pacific

(ANS – Rome) – The Salesian presence on the southern continent will have the pleasure of welcoming, starting Friday, April 21, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime. In fact, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco is traveling to Australia to share the joy of the centenary of Salesian presence in the country (1923-2023) with Salesians and the local Salesian Family. For Fr. Á.F. Artime, this is the second time in the “Mary Help of Christians” Province of Australia-Pacific (AUL), having already been there in May 2015: a memorable visit for that Province, which represented the first ever by a Rector Major to New Zealand and Fiji Islands, two of the four nations that make up AUL – the other two being Australia, and Samoa. 

Lasting a total of eight days, the visit begins on Friday, April 21, with the arrival of the 10th Successor of Don Bosco in Sydney. Already on the first day, after an opportune time for rest after the long journey, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco shall visit the tomb of St. Mary MacKillop, the first Australian saint; then, he is to visit St. Mary’s Cathedral, accompanied by Bishop Richard Umbers, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sidney.

On Saturday, the Rector Major travels to Engadine and spends the morning visiting the “Salesian Boys’ Town” work, with its attached museum and sports areas. In the afternoon, after meeting with the Salesians, the Rector Major shall preside at Mass with youth, faithful, and the Educational-Pastoral Community (EPC) of the local work.

On Sunday 23, after the festive Mass at St. Marys Church and a meeting with the youth of the Salesian work, the Rector Major goes to Melbourne, where he shall be welcomed by his confreres from the Provincial House in Ascot Vale, from which, in the days to follow, he will travel to Salesian houses scattered in the city’s surrounding area.

After a day of rest and community life with the Salesians of the Provincial Center, Fr. Á.F. Artime will spend Tuesday, April 25, a national holiday in Australia, to remember the fallen in service to the nation, in dialogue with the Provincial Council, in getting to know the work and EPC of Brunswick, and in meeting with the formation community of Clifton Hill.

The Salesian Institute of Chadstone is the next destination, on the morning of Wednesday, 26: the Rector Major shall visit the school, animate the assembly of students and faculty, and make himself available for direct talks with young people as part of a Youth Forum. In the late afternoon, he presides over the Solemn Mass for the Centenary of Salesian presence, which will be followed by an evening gala.

On the penultimate day of his animation visit, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco goes to the Ferntree Gully Center, where he will meet with the educational community and youth and bless a new fountain at the Salesian Institute. The afternoon, however, will be dedicated to community reflection with all Salesians in Australia, and the Rector Major will spend it at the Retreat House in Lysterfield. 

On the last day, Fr. Á.F. Artime will move early in the morning to Sunbury for a morning of dialogue and interaction with the students of the Salesian Institute and the blessing of a memorial to the benefactors; then, he will undertake the flight back to Europe.