5989(I)_The Heart of Don Bosco in Brunswick, Australia

by ceteratolle posted May 24, 2023


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By Afia Enosa SDB

       Don Bosco Youth Centre, Brunswick (Melbourne), Australia, 24 May 2023 -- Young people and parents coming from Brunswick and surrounding suburbs find Don Bosco Youth Centre a welcoming place; a home away from home; an environment where they feel comfortable, safe and loved. The Youth Centre offers a variety of services and activities for youth groups and family groups, creating a supportive and inclusive atmosphere that encourages young people to reach their full potential; promotes positive self-esteem and encourages them to help others. We have experienced multicultural friendship between young people, and parents, as well as lay people and volunteers and we have witnessed this for many years. It is great to see this bond growing stronger between young people.

       Father Jan Walenciej is the new Director of Don Bosco Youth Centre, taking over from the previous Director, Father Peter Kerin, who provided many years of kindness and service to the Youth Centre Community. Father Jan was the Director of Don Bosco Youth Centre in St. Marys, Sydney for eleven years including six years as the Rector before he moved to Brunswick in 2023. He has been presenting fresh perspectives and initiatives for the ongoing mission of the Youth Centre and planning new activities for the young people. Brother Afia Enosa, who is a practical trainee, arrived from Fiji, where he spent five years in formation, and he is now assisting Father Jan in the Youth Centre.

       Don Bosco Youth Centre is a multicultural community which welcomes young people from different nationalities, including: Egyptians, Indonesians, Maltese, Saudi Arabians, Vietnamese, Australians, Somalis, Indians, Italians, Argentinians, Japanese, Chinese and Pacific Islanders. They come for recreation after school on weekdays and for weekend sessions in the mornings and afternoons. The Centre provides pool tables, air-hockey tables, soccer tables, trampolines, gymnastic springboards and a multipurpose court (outdoor) for Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball and Netball. Many parents who attend share stories and great memories of the Centre when they used to come with their own parents. Now, they’re bringing their children back to the place that gave them a sense of belonging and safety.

       We have been blessed with the presence of volunteers from the local area, dedicating their time and energy to support the Youth Centre. They are allocated in turn to supervise and to ensure the safety of young people during sessions every day. With the support of Father Phillip Gleeson (Rector) and the regular presence of community members, this helps to boost the spirit in the Centre with lively conversations with parents and past pupils of the Youth Centre.

       May our Blessed Mother Mary bless us as we continue to serve the young with compassion and loving kindness. Viva Don Bosco!