Melbourne, Australia, 19 May 2018 -- The hall at Salesian College, Chadstone was transformed over the weekend as it became a place of gather, worship and joy for Salesian young people from all around Australia. 170 people came from South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and various parts of Melbourne to celebrate the 10th annual OzBosco youth event. Being our only annual national Salesian youth gathering, it is always a highlight of the youth ministry year; something that our young people look forward to and countdown to each year. Led by their dedicated teachers, mentors and group leaders, they come to learn, play and pray together.
This year, our weekend unpacked the ideas of ‘listening and accompaniment’, as informed and inspired by our 2018 Salesian Strenna. We focussed on the Gospel story of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the Well, recognising it as a wonderful example of an interaction that exemplifies the kind of listening and accompanying we want to be doing in our own lives. We began our time together by constructing our very own Well, each person being given their own individual building block to decorate and adorn in their own way. With our centrepiece for the weekend complete, it was difficult to forget the concept of ‘living water’; the ultimate gift of Jesus to each of us.
We were joined by incredible speakers and workshop presenters throughout the weekend. Fr Dean Mathieson, OFM Cap helped us deepen our understanding of what it means to listen, while on Sunday, Sr Iutita Kasio FMA and Salesian College Chadstone past pupil, Zia Haydari, helped us to reflect upon those who have accompanied us, through their own sharing of the journey so far. Saturday evening involved a search for the missing Don Bosco through the Melbourne CBD, culminating in a festival celebration at the newly opened St Joseph’s parish hall in Collingwood. Food trucks, games and plenty of dancing ensure that everyone’s needs were well and truly met! Our weekend was closed by a joyful and uplifting celebration of the eucharist by our Provincial, Fr Will Matthews. As we all stood clapping and dancing along to our concluding song, ‘Hymn to Don Bosco’, we gave thanks for the weekend that was, the friends that were made and all the new and exciting ways that Jesus had revealed himself through the faces, actions and words of others.