10th iteration of OzBosco a massive success!
By Michael GartlandIn 10 short years, OzBosco has firmly established itself as the most important event on the Australian Salesian Youth Movement calenda , and this year’s rendition continued that proud tradition. Held over the weekend commencing on 18 May, over 170 young people, SDBs, FMAs and school staff, gathered at Salesian College Chadstone to celebrate the gift that is being a part of the Salesian Family. The theme of the weekend followed the Rector Major’s strenna “Let us cultivate the art of listening and accompaniment”. The festivities began as soon as groups arrived with music and small games. The program officially commenced after dinner with an acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land and then a welcome to OzBosco. Everyone was then introduced to their respective ‘oratories’– smaller discussion groups of around 10 people that featured a diverse cross-section of participants. The first task was for the members of each oratory to decorate a brick with whatever symbols they deemed important; all the bricks were then gathered and assembled to build a well – a place to make first contact with Jesus! Supper, night prayer and goodnight soon followed, and then it was off to bed (or, at least, to inflatable mattresses!)
Saturday morning featured a key-note address from Fr Dean Mathieson OFM who spoke about the importance of listening to understan , rather than listening to hear. He highlighted several personal experiences where he had come to understand the vital difference through mistakes and personal development. In the afternoon, participants were given a long list of workshops and were able to choose two that they would attend. These covered a wide range of topics such as the joys of living simply, the joy of music in prayer and a panel discussi g and answering questions about their own life-changing vocations.
The Saturday night activity has become a staple and a highlight of OzBosco, and this one was sure to be memorable – Don Bosco was coming to visit! However, disaster struck just as participants got off the bus on the outskirts of Melbourne’s CBD: Don Bosco had gone missing! The various oratory groups were then tasked to travel around the city and, assisted by the likes of Don Rua, Mamma Margherita and Micky Magone, they hunted down clues that were linked to the Salesian story, hot on the trail that Don Bosco left behind. Eventually Don Bosco was tracked down – where else would he be but waiting for the young outside the beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral? With Don Bosco secured, everyone then moved on to the nearby St Joseph’s school hall and church to partake in a Salesian festival – music, dancing, games, food trucks and adoration were all on offer!
On Sunday, the focus shifted to “accompaniment” and OzBosco 2018 was treated to a pair of brilliant speakers, Mr Zia Haydari and Sr Iutita Kasio. They spoke earnestly about the respective journeys that life had taken them through, emphasising the moments of special accompaniment that got them through the tough times and made the good times even sweeter. OzBosco 2018 culminated with a Mass celebrated by the SDB provincial Fr Will Matthews, being also in attendance the FMA provincial Sr Edna Mary MacDonald. Bittersweet farewells soon followed, contact details were exchanged and promises to reunite at OzBosco 2019 were made, wherever that may be!