Recently, Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of historical sexual crimes. As part of the Catholic Church, we continue to focus our attention on the many victims who have suffered as a result of unthinkable crimes. St Joseph’s College is constantly working towards ensuring that our school is as safe as possible. Policies and practices are in place in line with Child Safety regulations. Should you have any concerns about the safety of your children at school, please don’t hesitate to make contact with your son’s Year Level Leader, Mr Liam O’Keefe (Director of Students), Mr Guido Piotti (Deputy Principal Years 10-12), Mr Andrew Cooper (Deputy Principal Years 7-9) or me. St Joseph’s College is committed to the safety, wellbeing and inclusion of all children and young people.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, wrote on 26 February 2019, “My thoughts and prayers are with all victims who have been abused by clergy, religious and lay people in the Archdiocese of Melbourne at this challenging time, and I renew my personal commitment to do all I can to ensure victims of such abuse in Melbourne receive justice and healing.”

A couple of years ago, I published in the Newsletter the Salesian Province Apology offered by the former Salesian Provincial, Fr Greg Chambers sdb.

“As the Salesians of the Province of Mary Help of Christians of Australia and the Pacific, we are painfully aware that our personal and collective story has often been tainted by brokenness and sinfulness. In particular, we want to sincerely acknowledge the reality and scourge of the sexual abuse of minors that has visited us during our journey.

From the very beginning of our Salesian story, the beacon pointing out our identity and our mission has always been and will be the welfare, the education and the integral formation of young people, particularly the poor and abandoned ones. For us Salesians nothing is more precious and more sacred than the life of a young person. That will always be the absolute and unconditional raison d’etre for us. Consequently, any form of abuse is a denial of our vision and all we stand for, as well as a desecration of the very life of those we work for, depriving the most vulnerable of their dignity and of their future.

Unfortunately we have seriously betrayed the trust placed on us and denied our mission and our responsibilities, particularly at Salesian College Sunbury. Today we say ‘sorry’ unconditionally and wholeheartedly to the victims and their families for the deep hurt our wrongdoing has caused. As a province community, we wish to apologise most sincerely and ask for their forgiveness.

For our part, as followers of Saint John Bosco whom the Church has called ‘Father and Teacher of Youth’, we unashamedly admit to our wrongdoings perpetrated through all forms of abuse on so many innocent victims, and commit ourselves to ensure that such evil will never occur again in our province of Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji. While we apologise and ask for their forgiveness, we are firmly committed to continue our journey of support and compassion towards mutual healing and peace of heart and mind as the Lord has committed us to do.”

Fr Greg Chambers sdb 
Salesian Provincial 

Australia-Pacific Province 
8 December 2016

We have begun the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. I commend to you all the activities associated with Caritas’ Project Compassion which will do a lot to assist those in need around the world. The goal this year is to raise $20,000.

On Sunday 24 February, we joined the community of St John the Baptist Parish, Ferntree Gully, to celebrate the Eucharist. Staff, students and parents participated under the guidance of Miss Bronwyn Dean. Father Alan Fox, President of the Canonical Administrators of the College, celebrated the Mass with our College Rector, Father Chris Ford, and Father Jim Acreman.

The College Swimming Squad recently competed in the ACC Swimming Carnival, taking out the Division 2 Championship. My thanks to the swimmers, Mr Steve Clarke (Head Coach), Mr Paul Trubiani (Director of Sport) and all the staff who supported. (L-R): The Swim Team Captains, John McMahon and Jack Moses, display the silverware and pennants. I encourage you to regularly visit for a very comprehensive overview of ACC activities.

The annual Year 8 Father and Son evening was held recently which gave those involved the opportunity to deepen their relationships through the processes led by Mr Bill Jennings (Director of Time and Space).

Please come along to the Community Fun Day being held on Sunday 17 March from 10am-2pm. The day promises to be lots of fun.

All the best for the fortnight ahead.

Ms Cathy Livingston