Melbourne, Australia, 2 February 2024 – It was a ‘family affair’ in so many ways: the installation of the new Salesian Provincial of the Australia-Pacific Province, Fr Peter Hoang, brought together Salesians and Salesian Family members from across the continent and the Pacific, many members of Fr Peter’s own family, as well as very many Vietnamese friends and parishioners, and a special visitor from Timor Leste in the person of Fr Anacleto Pires SDB, who represented the Rector Major and the Regional Councillor in the installation ceremony, witnessing Fr Peter’s acceptance of his new mandate, and his profession of faith.
The event took place on the evening of 31 January 2024 at St Joseph’s Church in Collingwood, part of the parish entrusted to the Salesians that also includes the house of formation at Clifton Hill, the Parish centre. It was attended by some 300 people including Salesians, Salesian Family, some lay principals of Salesian schools around the city, and a good number of parishioners and friends, many of whom were Vietnamese. Fr Peter’s brother, a sister, and two cousins looked after the catering. Young Salesian in formation and Vietnamese parishioners made up the choir, which gave life to the liturgy.
In his homily, Fr Peter recalled his pilgrimage in 2013 to Turin, Colle Don Bosco, the Becchi, Mondonio, and Chieri…. Annecy, and the thrill at soaking up the Salesian spirit in all its aspects, “ a spirit still happening here in Australia-Pacific.” He recalled Don Bosco's dream at nine years of age, fashioning it finally into a couple of verses of his own, expressed in English and Vietnamese.
The Province looks forward with confidence, Fr Peter said, with Jesus and Mary “instructing, guiding us … to carry out and carry on Don Bosco’s vision and mission as revealed in his Dream … no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ for us, no fear either because we have Jesus and Mary and Don Bosco above and beside us, in front and behind us … with that we’ll produce fruits, fruits that will last for the young, the poorer ones, for those in need in our care, and for all of us!”