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A day in Battersea concludes what has been a life-changing experience. I never thought 2 weeks of travelling around with a hand would have moved me so much, but then again it wasn’t all about the hand.

Having a chance to sit down and reflect on what we have achieved, the people we met and the stories that have been shard reduced me to a blubbering mess. I began to think about the impact Don Bosco has had on my life and I traced the Salesian trail back to when I was 10 and had to decide which secondary school I wanted to go to. If it wasn’t for my decision to go to St John Bosco in Croxteth, I would never have experienced all the things that have shaped my life so far!

As I listened to the stories from people about Don Bosco’s influence in their lives, I never once realised that I was the same as them, cementing my sense of belonging in the Salesian family. So thank you to everyone I’ve worked with over the past 2 weeks for their support and enthusiasm, members of the public for their stories, Don Bosco for being born and inspiring a generation and God for inspiring Don Bosco and leading him to his vocation. Who’d have thought that a man born almost 200yrs ago would shape my way in such a drastic way? Not me!

 

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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

Was on the way to London at 6am this morning, was so early. I managed to lose my diary entry for yesterday.

Southwark has been fantastic, soooo many people came to venerate the relics, it was unbelievable. We had schools in today – pupils from Chertsey and Farnborough came and again, as with the schools in Liverpool, I was grateful that they got to experience Salesianity outside of school. Hopefully the saint that looks upon them from their school walls is much more real and the charism much more tangible, seeing that Don Bosco is much more than the name of their schools.

So many more inspirational stories from people of all walks of life who have known Don Bosco throughout their lives.

I almost dropped a sail on people’s head during the final liturgy, though thankfully I managed to rescue it before any damage was done!

 

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After a very nice late start, meeting at Holy Trinity at 12, we headed to St George’s Cathedral. Another beautiful cathedral it did, however, remind me a lot of something out of Harry Potter. Whilst we were setting up, a massive queue had formed outside which snaked around the side of the cathedral for most of the afternoon. In order to stop the young people in the queue getting bored and restless, a few of us took a group each to entertain and then fastrack to the relics.

 

After being there for only a couple of hours it was clear to see that our time in Southwak was going to bring us something special.

 

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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

Today was a more eventful sort of day. To begin with, everything was the same as every other day so far: get up ridiculously early, travel, buy lunch, steward the Pilgrim Experience. 

The difference today was that we had to maintain the pilgrim journey while contending with Mass every hour - including a Latin Mass. Apart from a few disgruntled Mass attendees, all went smoothly with the team getting praised again and the journey being inspirational. 

We has mass at 2pm and as we were sitting in the middle of the cathedral, with Don Bosco, when it came to singing Friend of the Young after communion, most of us had to sprint to the front to reach the microphone and Edwin and try to sing - worked well I thought.

Don Bosco was then led out of the cathedral by the Bishop and the road crew became bodyguards! It was a little chaos trying to keep people away from the casket but we did it and as soon as we were outside, we threw away the restraints and broke into song, clapping and wooping in the piazza. 

After everything had been packed up, we raced back to Basildon, had a quick change and then went out with all the families and some of the parisioners to a Toby Carvery, courtesy of a Salesian Past-Pupil living in the Parish. The generosity and love shown to us by our host community has been amazing, don’t know why we were worried! 

Southwark tomorrow, let’s get the cards and spinning-plates out again!

 

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DON BOSCO TODAY

Summer 2017

DBT summer edition FINAL Page 01

 

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