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Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:15






Under the title of ‘Don Bosco: the Magic Weaver’, 40 Salesian Sisters and Collaborators came together to study what it means to ‘Walk with the young’ and ‘Waste time with the young’.

Sr Lucy Rose FMA from the General Council in Rome offered some reflections on the Salesian Family and the Strenna.


Helen MacDonald led the first session allowing people to reflect on different memories, and lots of old and new experiences and new opportunities. The session culminated with the confirmation that it doesn’t matter what we bring to the table, we are all ‘members of the Salesian Family’.

Lunch was in the hall (United Reform Church, Blundellsands) and much to everyone’s delight, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:30


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In a world where quite often we silence God and where He is pushed aside, we need the witness of young people for whom the Lord is truly the Lord of their lives and the path to happiness and authenticity.


I recently returned from the Antilles, or more exactly, from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, where we celebrated 100 years of Salesian presence and the beautiful feast of Don Bosco. As always, I met with our wonderful Salesian Family, with many lay people who have great affection for Don Bosco as well as for me, the Rector Major, and I also encountered some magnificent young people.

I remember that before I left for this trip, I had sent to all the young people of the Salesian world a message with a theme for the feast of Don Bosco. In that video I shared with them the words which Pope Francis had directed to them during one of his encounters with the young. Just like Pope Francis, and I know just like many of you, dear readers and friends, I trust in the young; I pray for the young; I encourage them to be courageous, to be the protagonists of their own lives, and to swim against the tide, to be countercultural.

I met with many bright young people who are capable of being animators of other youths, of other boys and girls; young people who were already working or who were still studying while working so as to be able to help out at home and at the same time to have greater opportunities in life. These young people, aged 20 to 25, who have no qualms about helping with liturgical celebrations as servers, or taking part in a magnificent choir in the church, or performing at the evening recreation, demonstrating their magnificent talents as actors and dancers. These, too, are our young people.

To these young people I say that there are many adults like us who place great hope in them; that there are many adults who encourage them to be courageous in their life, recognizing that the world which we offer them is not an easy one and that opportunities are scarce. I also tell them that this is no fault of their own. We adults, too, must be self-critical. So, together with Pope Francis, I encourage them to have the strength to “swim against the current,” to be countercultural, when the call to be faithful to themselves and to Jesus resounds mightily within their hearts.

The world needs you

Dear young people, I tell you that the world needs you. It stands in need of those great ideals which are proper to youth and to your youthful dreams. The world, everywhere, on six continents, now more than ever needs young people filled with hope and with courage, who do not fear to live, dream, and seek a profound and true happiness in which God inhabits their hearts. In a world where quite often we silence God and where He is pushed aside, we need the witness of young people for whom the Lord is truly the Lord of their lives and the path to happiness and authenticity.

This world of ours needs young people who feel attracted to make a commitment and are able to sacrifice themselves and love “until it hurts,” as Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say in her day – she who is now a saint. We need young people who are capable, through their commitment, to give of their time and of themselves.

Is this asking too much? I do not think so. Certainly, I am setting the bar high, but it is the same as Don Bosco asked of his boys at Valdocco – whether in the normal things of everyday life or in the heroicity of attending to those who were ill with the cholera.

I also remind you young people of today that we need you because other young people need you. You are the ones who can best understand and help them because there are many young people who are “tired, bored, or disenchanted,” or who simply never get excited about anything. There are young people who are very weak and fragile and need other young people to speak to them about life, using their language, so as to show them that there are other paths and possibilities open to them. They need others who will help them truly believe that running away from the challenges of life is never a solution. They also need true “missionary disciples” who will help them discover Jesus in their lives and help them believe in Him – in a Jesus, I tell you, who will not sell them “a pig in a poke” ('no les vende humo’) but will offer them life, authentic life, His life, and His very self.

A short while ago, Pope Francis wrote a message to all the young people of the world in which he said: “I do not fear…. A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change, and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit, who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master.

Hence, my invitation in these pages seeks to help many young people of the world be generous. It is also a call to us adults to stand beside them, place our bets on them, believe in them, trust in them, and pray for them – for those whose faith is alive, as well as for those who are seeking or simply feel lost. God never abandons any of His sons or daughters.

Be happy!



Friday, 10 February 2017 16:27


Salesian Sisters

25-27 Village Way





Tel: 020 8650 6313





1. Sr Margaret Leadox (Support Worker with destitute refugee women; teaching English)

2. Sr Patricia Devine (Animator; Coordinator of work with destitute refugee women; Governor, Salesian School, Chertsey)

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 14:06

Memorial of Blessed Pius IX



On 7th February, the anniversary of his death, we celebrate the memorial of Blessed Pius IX, knwn as 'Don Bosco's Pope' for the support he gave to our founder.


Future pope as missionary

Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti (Pio IX) was the ninth child of Count Girolamo and Caterina Sollazzi. He was born in Senigallia 13 May 1792. Between 1803 and 1808 he was a pupil at the College for noblemen in Volterra. Wanting to become a priest he had to interrupt his studies because of sudden attacks of epilepsy. In 1815, at Loreto, he obtained the grace of a full recovery. He resumed his theological studies in 1819 and was ordained priest. In 1823 he went as a missionary to Chile for two years.

Sunday, 01 January 2017 10:42


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I wish the members of the Salesian Family every blessing as we celebrate the beginning of a new year.

May we hold onto what was good from the old year while welcoming the opportunity to begin again, so to speak, in the new!

May Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians walk with all of us as we go forward in our life and our mission.

God Bless.

Fr Gerry Briody SDB - Provincial


Friday, 28 December 2018 12:12

ST THOMAS BECKET - Patron of our Province



On 29th December, we celebrate the feast of St Thomas Becket, Patron of our Province.


Thomas was born in around 1120, the son of a prosperous London merchant. He was well educated and quickly became an agent to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him on several missions to Rome. Becket's talents were noticed by Henry II, who made him his chancellor and the two became close friends. When Theobald died in 1161, Henry made Becket archbishop. Becket transformed himself from a pleasure-loving courtier into a serious, simply-dressed cleric.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016 13:57


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(ANS - Rome) - On 24 December last a video was posted on YouTube in which Fr Tom Uzhunnalil appears, the Indian Salesian priest, missionary in Yemen, who was kidnapped on 4 March 2016 in Aden. From the images on the video the physical and mental state of health of the Salesian appear broken, nevertheless the video is primarily evidence that Fr Tom is alive.

The video is posted on a profile named "Saleh Salem" and lasts more than 5 minutes. On seeing it, Fr Tom’s confreres, the Salesians of Bangalore, observe that the face and the voice are those of the kidnapped Salesian.

In the video Fr Tom speaks in slow and hesitant language. In his state of isolation he appears unaware of the many efforts that the government authorities, the whole Church and humanitarian organizations are making for his release.

A confrere of the Province has said: "In any case this video is a reminder to the authorities of the Government and the Church to intensify their efforts to negotiate the release of Father Tom. Prayer is really powerful. If Fr Tom is still alive we owe it to the prayers of countless people around the world. Please continue to pray for Fr Tom’s welfare and security ... and also for world peace, the end of religious, cultural or social persecution in any country and for greater justice, to reduce corruption and ensure a more humane distribution of resources among all human beings. We have to push our leaders, global, national and regional, to work seriously towards these goals."

The Salesian Congregation, renewed in the hope of being able to welcome back our Confrere Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, continues to support the efforts for a successful conclusion of the story and again invites the whole Salesian Family to pray to ask God for the release of our Indian missionary.


Sunday, 25 December 2016 10:40


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[© Shutterstock]

I wish the members of the Salesian Family peace and joy at this time of Christmas.

Peace from faith that considers those less fortunate and respects differences.

Joy that recognises we belong and that we are loved and appreciated for who we are, not just for what we bring.

May Christmas be a time of sharing who we are and reflecting on who we might become.

Wishing you and your families every blessing.

Fr Gerry Briody SDB - Provincial




Chris Foy headteacher Darren Gidman Ian Hussin 500

© Foundry Agency

Former Premier League Referee, Chris Foy joined Michelle Hinnigan, captain of Everton Ladies FC and her first team coach, Andy Spence to officially open St John Bosco Arts College's new £1m third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) and changing room pavilion recently (Friday 23rd September). Ian Hussin, a local Select Group Assistant Referee, also assisted proceedings as did Stacey McMahon, a sports tutor from the Liverpool FC Foundation College.

The state-of-the-art facility was made possible thanks to a £637,245 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which provides grants towards developing new or refurbished grassroots football facilities.

The grant has enabled St John Bosco Arts College to build a floodlit 3G AGP that will be used by a range of community groups and local primary schools. The funding also allowed the school to build a new changing room pavilion, comprising two team changing rooms; a large officials' changing area; spectator toilets; office space and plant storage.

In addition to Everton FC Centre of Excellence, several grassroots clubs including Richmond Raith Rovers, Red Rum FC and the Liverpool FC Foundation College also use the 3G pitch to deliver their Young Leaders and Football Futures programmes. Football Future helps to develop volunteers through practical sessions and workshops, while Young Leaders focuses on helping teenagers to build the necessary skills needed in later life.

Through this project, the school worked in close partnership with the Football Foundation and Liverpool FA to establish a five-year Football Development Plan (FDP) - a long-term vision for how sport will be played at the new facility - projected to increase female participation by over 40%. The FDP will also see a new 11v11 mid-week floodlit league established, with participants now able to enjoy the new facility throughout the winter months.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity.

Darren Gidman, Head teacher, St John Bosco Arts College, said: "Thank you to Chris Foy for opening our new 3G pitch and changing pavilion. The new facilities at St John Bosco Arts College are a wonderful opportunity not only for the students at the college but for the wider community.

"The funding provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund will encourage, develop and promote football for all with particular emphasis on developing football for girls and women. St John Bosco will provide a hub in the north of the city by improving grassroots football that offer top class facilities and opportunities."

Monday, 03 October 2016 13:36


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'Make some Noise' 2016 - schools from all over the UK came together to Bolton to pray, to have great fun and to celebrate life - from London to Glasgow, Burnley to Chertsey, Liverpool to Widnes and so on...thanks to great hosts Thornleigh Salesian College and to the salesian Youth Ministry department - with tons of support from Volunteers, friends and staff. Arriving Friday evening and staying through to the concluding Mass on Saturday afternoon, 300 teenagers enjoyed fun, prayer, worship, fairground rides and excellent food.


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The Salesian Youth Ministry Animator, Sue McDonald and her fantastic team of volunteers and staff put together a great programme of events for young people and old alike!! Fr Gerry Briody SDB, the Salesian Provincial led the final Mass with superb music from Dan Antonio and team. Fr Bob Gardner SDB gave the traditional 'Good Night' on Friday evening, whist the 'Good Morning' was presented by Sr Connie Cameron FMA (Provincial) backed by her (twin) sister, Sr Linda Cameron FMA.


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all photos © SalesianLink/Gardner

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