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  • Isabella Saleu

‘Come and Help Us!’

Bosconians bring to life Dream of Don Bosco for Oceania

Gabutu, Port Moresby: 250 students from Don Bosco Technical School took part in a captivating musical entitled: ‘Come and Help us’. The academia took its inspiration from the Dream of St. John Bosco for the Oceania Region. It was directed by Ms. Rica Lavilla and written with the help of Ms. Emilie Novotna and Ms. Jana.

Staged on two separate occasions; Sunday 29th August 2021 for parents and Monday 30th August 2021 for the students, the presentation had three parts; Don Bosco’s Dream for Oceania, the first Salesian Missionaries to Papua New Guinea and a brief history of the establishment of Don Bosco Technical School.

In his opening remarks, Rector of the school Fr. Pedro Sachitula SDB, explained that Don Bosco had over 150 (recorded) dreams. Five of these were ‘Missionary Dreams’; the Patagonian Missions (1871-2); the Train Journey on the Missions (August 30th, 1883); the Fantastic Highway and the Hall of Glory (January 31st, 1885); the Angels of the Missions (narrated July 2nd, 1885) and the famous Barcelona Dream.

“Today we draw our attention to the dream about us and that is the 4th dream: The Angels of the Missions. Here Don Bosco stood before a large mountain and an angel showed him you and me. Every Salesian presence in the world today was dreamed of by Don Bosco. That means as Bosconians, we are very dear to the heart of Don Bosco, therefore, we too, as our father before us, must dream to be agents of change in our communities”, encouraged Fr. Pedro.

The first part of the presentation retold the dream of the Patron Saint of the Young. Beautifully executed by the actors on stage, the audience was taken back in time where an Angel appeared before Don Bosco on a high mountain in Australia, showing him a group of young people crying out for help; the boys’ cries were the start of the Salesian Missions in Oceania.

As the next part of the play was staged, it was an emotional moment as performers acted out how the first Salesian Missionaries, Fr. Valeriano Barbero sdb, Fr Rolando Fernández sdb and Salesian coadjutor Joseph Kramar first set foot in Papua New Guinea on 14th June, 1980 in Araimiri, Gulf Province.

The performers made sure the audience was emotionally captivated by their acting, singing and dancing together with very creative props and colorful backgrounds, as they portrayed the challenges of the pioneers who sought to establish their Salesian presence in a country full of cultural barriers, little civilization and locations inaccessible due to geographical constraints.

To conclude the presentation, a brief history of DBTS was staged portraying the establishment and operation of the boys’ school since 1981 under the care of Fr. Joseph Savina sdb, the first Rector and Fr. Felix Furlan, the first Principal.

Accompanying the play, was a slide show of pictures provided by Br. Reto Wanner sdb and Archbishop Francesco Panfilo sdb, of some of the historic moments of the school, including the first graduation.

Mr. Martin Dai, Principal of DBTS, stressed the struggles of the first Salesians and challenged the Bosconians to also take up the Call of Vocation in Religious life to become Salesians as well to continue the mission of Don Bosco for the young.

Mr. Narol Sapak, Past Pupil, now instructor at DBTS said that even though he is a Bosconian, there were some things he never knew about the early Salesians and the Academia has shed light on that.

“As a Papua New Guinean, I truly appreciate the work of the Salesians in PNG. The storyline brings us from Europe across the world to Oceania all because God directed Don Bosco in his dream to reach out to help the young people in PNG. Knowing the history helps us to appreciate Don Bosco more and the work of the Salesians, whilst strengthening our identity as Bosconians. Don Bosco has already planted the seed in Araimiri, now it is up to us to nurture and grow the Salesian presence throughout PNG and Oceania”, he said.

Currently there are 9 Salesian houses in the Vice Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands; 7 in PNG and 2 in SI under the watchful eyes of 44 Salesians among who are 15 in initial formation.

Viva Don Bosco! Don Bosco Nau na Oltaim!

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