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By Fr. Greg Chambers

Melbourne, Australia - From the Foreword of Jeffrey Bradley’s Biography of the most famous personality in Australian Salesian History – ‘Ciantar – A real Salesian’, written by Fr. Greg Chambers, Provincial Australia – Pacific:

“Fr. Joseph Lawrence Ciantar, after a long and action packed life as a Salesian priest, religious and leader both in England and Australia, died on 28 December 1967. There followed an avalanche of eulogies, admiration and appreciation from those whoe live he touched. From the telegrams: ‘Sincere condolences on the death of Fr. Ciantar, a heroic Salesian. D. Ricerri, Rector Major’. ‘United with the province in bereavement and deeply grieved assure prayers and Mass for his soul. Bernard Tohill, Regional’. ‘My wife and I offer our deepest sympathy on the passing of one who served his church and community so well. EG Whitlam, Leader of the Australian Labour Party.’
He was nominated as the ‘real founder of the Salesian work in Australia who merited a full length biography’ (Fr. Edward Power).
Finally Fr. John Briffa, his compatriot and successor in one his great apostolic endeavours in Engadine (Sydney), penned his tribute to Joseph Ciantar:

  • A man of deep, intense morning meditation which coiled up the day;
  • His singleness of purpose: If he saw it as God’s will, then be brooked no opposition;
  • His predilection for little children;
  • His poverty which impressed many lay people.”

We are grateful to Jeffrey R. Bradley for this dedicated work of past 10 months to compile this wonderful biography easy for any reader with many documentary photos, personal testimonials of our Sydney - Engadine parishioners. It’s an exciting reading for all members of the Salesian family. The book is available from the provincial house in Melbourne-Ascot Vale.

It’s very meaningful that in the course of this Bicentenary Year, a number of publications have already been produced or will be soon published by Salesians or Salesian Family members. It’s a good encouragement for celebrating the Jubilee Year with some lasting and inspiring fruits. They are as follows:

  • ‘Pause and Ponder: Spiritual Treasures from the Pen of Fr Bill Edwards SDB (1928—2010)’ - a Desk Calendar compiled by Fr Stephen Ardill, Priest of the Diocese of Port Pirie
  • ‘Pioneer Priests of Australia 1800 - 1870’ - a Book written by the late Fr Ted Cooper SDB and prepared for publication by Mrs Nan Lloyd
  • ‘Salesians on the Peripheries: A Tale of a Few Cities’ - an Article composed by Fr Peter Carroll SDB for publication in the Australian Catholic Record, April 2015(for download-bosclink)
  • ‘St John Bosco: Charismatic Founder’ - an Article written by Fr Bernie Graham SDB for ‘New Ways of Living the Gospel: Spiritual Traditions in Catholic Education’, edited by Jim and Therese D’Orsa (for download-bosclink)
  • ‘Ciantar—A Real Salesian’ - written by Mr Jeffrey Bradley, former Salesian, in honour of one of our most outstanding Salesians in Australian Salesian history
  • ‘Re-imagining Don Bosco’ - written by Fr Peter Varengo SDB specifically in honour of the Bicentenary of St John Bosco’s Birth
  • ‘Reflections on Evangelical Consecration. Celebrating a Bicentenary’ - written by Fr Frank Moloney SDB to mark the Year of Consecrated Life and Don Bosco’s Bicentenary.

'Wear' your Facebook

By Dcn Donnie​, SDB

We invite you to visit our website where you may find Facebook graphics of all Sundays of August, courtesy of Mark Anthony Ramos.





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  • vaclav 2015.08.02 10:58

    for download

  • Robert 2023.07.15 19:56

    Joseph Ciantar hit my 5 yearl old sister with his car and nearly killed her. I was 11

    and had to lift her up off the road (I thought she was dead). He was hopeless. Did

    nothing. I lifter her into the car and told him to drive to the hospital.

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