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Friday, 30 December 2016 15:40

Salesian farewell from Bairnsdale

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Salesians logo150The Salesians of Don Bosco closed its monastery in Bairnsdale, ending its 26 year association with Nagle College, reports Catholic Life.

The 26 year association between Nagle College and the Salesians of Don Bosco has ended with the religious order closing its monastery in Bairnsdale. The Salesians arrived at the request of Bishop Jeremiah Coffey to take over running the college in 1990.

The college was established by the Presentation Sisters and was named after their founder Nano Nagle, and after the sisters left in 1986, the college was run by a lay principal. Fr Frank Freeman SDB was the first Salesian principal of the college, serving 10 years at the helm before being replaced by Fr Bernie Graham SDB.

When Fr Graham left in 2006 the college reverted to lay principalship but until the end of this year the Salesian presence has continued through Fr Joe Pulis SDB who has taught languages and been heavily involved in Japanese program, leading excursions to sister schools in Japan every few years. Br Noel Hannabery SDB was on the staff havntil the end of last year and after retiring continued to live with Fr Pulis in the Pyke St monastery.

The college and parish held separate farewells to recognise the commitment and dedication the Salesians had given to the college. Ill health prevented Fr Freeman from returning but Fr Graham was able to attend along with Australia-Pacific region provincial Fr Greg Chambers SDB and Br Barry Parker SDB.

The whole school gathered for Mass celebrated by Bairnsdale parish priest Fr Michael Willemsen, assisted by Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral Fr Peter Bickley, and the Salesian fathers who included Sale assistant Fr Dominic Mathews SDB who is also leaving the diocese after Christmas.

Read the full article at Don Bosco Now, the news site of the Salesians of don Bosco, Province of Mary Help of Christians (Australia and the Pacific).

The article was first published in the December 2016 issue of Catholic Life, the official publication of the Diocese of Sale in Victoria.