Fr Provincial Visits Samoa


6 May 2012 | General Interest

The Salesian Provincial, Fr Greg Chambers SDB, arrived in Samoa in the early hours of Saturday 28 April for his official annual visitation of the two communities in Samoa, one based on the main island of Upolu and the other on the ‘big island’ of Savai’i.

The Upolu based community is centred around the Don Bosco Technical Centre at Alafua, very close to the centre of the capital Apia. It has two ‘satellite communities’: the Parish of St John John Bosco (Sinamoga-Moamoa) and the Parish of St Michael (Leauva’a), both of which are administered by the Salesians. Fr Chambers’ first official duties were to visit St John Bosco Parish for Sunday morning Mass and St Michael’s Parish for afternoon Mass.

Fr Greg and Fr NickOn Sunday evening all ten members of the community gathered together with the three Prenovices, who live at Alafua, for Fr Chambers’ opening address of his Visitation. He focused on the Rector Major’s 2012 “Strenna” or motto: “Make the young our life’s mission by coming to know and imitate Don Bosco” and offered insights into Don Bosco’s life and personality that provided food for reflection for each person at their own age and stage of life. A community meal followed.

On Monday morning Fr Chambers had an official meeting with Archbishop Alapati. He then headed to the wharf to catch the ferry to Savai’i to visit the community at Salelologa. This community as a dual focus: the Parish of St Francis de Sales and St John Bosco High School and Vocational Centre. Fr Chambers visited the parish and attended a parish Mass. He inspected the facilities of the new school only in operation for just over a year, including the computer laboratory established with donations from students in Salesian schools across Australia. Fr Chambers also participated in a formal school Assembly given in his honour.

On Wednesday Fr Chambers headed back to the capital and rejoined the Alafua community, where he met each Salesian for a private talk, presided at the blessing of the newly established St John Bosco chapel in the Salesian residence at Leauva’a and visited Don Bosco Technical Centre, where he inspected the construction site for the new electronics workshop and participated in a Whole School Assembly, where he was treated to a spectacular display of singing and dancing.

On Friday evening Fr Chambers presented his report to the community, praising the nature and quality of the work being done and setting some challenges and goals for the community to address and work towards. A fraternal gathering of the entire community concluded the visitation and Fr Chambers visit to Samoa. He will return within a month to be present at the priestly ordination of Deacon Filipo Kapeli.