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Monday, 14 September 2015 17:06


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We offer our warmest congratulations and prayers to Bro Lukasz Duminski SDB and Bro Janusz Garus SDB who renewed their vows to Religious Profession on Sunday 6th September.

Both Brothers from Poland, on Practical Training in the GBR Province stated their intention to live the Vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience for two years to the Vice-Provincial, Fr Bob Gardner SDB, who took the place of the Rector Major.

The celebration was attended by the local Savio House Community, and a large number of the Shrigley Old Boys and their families.

Saturday, 12 September 2015 16:56



photo: Matthew Neville

On Tuesday 8th September, the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ denunciation of the evils of the arms trade[1], Christians gathered outside the ExCeL centre in London as it prepares to host one of the world’s largest arms fairs. Travelling from across the country and representing diverse denominations and groups, they maintained a presence at the gates throughout the day.

Peacefully, prayerfully, many of those present stepped out into the roads, successfully preventing access to the entrances to the centre where preparations for next week’s exhibition are underway. Multiple blockades through the day were part of a whole week of creative action to disrupt the set-up of the DSEi Arms Fair. Informal prayers sat in front of a growing tail-back of lorries and a funeral procession for the unnumbered victims of the arms trade were among the powerful moments which took place in the approach roads to the ExCeL gates.

Supported by those maintaining prayerful vigil on the surrounding verges and pavements, the atmosphere remained one of respectful peace and of passion steeped in gospel values: a stark contrast to preparations for an event which will contribute to the continuing escalation of instability and conflict; the human cost of which is becoming increasingly evident.


photo: Matthew Neville

DSEi takes place every two years and brings thousands of arms manufacturers and dealers together with representatives of global governments including those from some of the world’s most repressive regimes[2]. As the refugee crisis in Europe draws our attention to increasing global conflict and instability, there is an almost sickening irony in knowing many of those conflicts are fuelled by a trade which being encouraged here, in our capital.

The theme of the Beatitudes reverberated through the day, with different groups independently choosing their inclusion in their liturgies. The power of Jesus’ words, spoken to an audience living under a military occupation, resonated through acts of repentance and resistance, in the face of a system which continues to perpetuate violence and oppression.

The sense of joy and community, which pervaded the day, even in the seemingly impenetrable face of death and destruction, allowed us to experience the truth of the blessing, that the peacemakers and those who hunger and thirst for justice will know happiness.


Read more about the actions against the Arms Fair as well as about DSEi itself at

I can be contacted at:




[2] The guest list for this year’s DSEi will not be announced until the first day of the exhibition, but previous invitees have included military delegations from a large number of repressive regimes including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and Bahrain.

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Your Majesty,

It is an honour and a pleasure to express the great loyalty and gratitude felt by the Catholic community of England and Wales for the outstanding and unstinting service you give to our nation and to people throughout the world.

We express these sentiments with particular warmth and admiration as you celebrate the occasion of surpassing the length of reign of any other British Monarch.

Along with Catholics across the world. and especially in the Commonwealth, we join our prayers of thanksgiving to those of other Christians for the many blessings of your reign.

Your vocation as our Queen has been unstinting over these years. The burden of high office fell upon your shoulders at a young age, and yet through the many and varied circumstances of your Reign, you have held integrity of service as a high standard and as an exemplar for other heads of state and leaders of nations. We give thanks too for the constant support that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has shown you in your time as our Queen; his role as Prince Consort being a source of strength and stay.

We thank you too, for your steadfast insistence on the great importance of our Christian faith, given in both word and example, alongside your appreciation of the contribution made by other religions in our rich and diverse society today. Our hope is that, enriched by the presence of many beliefs and cultures, our country will always maintain respect for our Christian heritage and the sure foundations that it provides for a flourishing of true human fulfilment. The Gospel of Jesus which we seek to serve, is a challenge to our society to think more deeply about the sanctity of life, the constant need for forgiveness and reconciliation, and the faithfulness required in love and the self-sacrifice which brings true satisfaction.

Your Majesty, it is my privilege to assure you of our prayers for you, now and in the future and, most especially, on the day when you become our longest reigning Monarch. All the Catholic communities in England and Wales have been asked to offer special prayers for you and your family on this most special of days.

May Almighty God bless your Majesty, preserve you in health of mind and body, and grant you every grace and blessing, now and in the years to come.

+ Vincent Cardinal Nichols


Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 11:17



Maria Troncatti was born in Cortegno Golgi (Brescia) on February 16, 1883. She grew up happy and hardworking in her numerous family, dividing her time between the farm and caring for her little brothers and sisters, in the warm and loving atmosphere created by her exemplary parents. She regularly attended catechism in her parish, where she developed a deep Christian spirit and opened her heart to the values of a religious vocation.

First profession at Nizza Monferrato

In obedience to her parish priest, however, she waited till she reached adulthood before asking to be admitted to the Institute of the Salesian Sisters. She made her first profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.

During the First World War (1915-18) Sr. Maria took a course in health care in Varazze and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the military hospital. This experience was to prove very valuable in the course of her long missionary life in the Amazon forests of Ecuador.

Missionary in Ecuador

She left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent to work among the Shuar people where, together with two other Sisters, she began the difficult work of evangelisation. They faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile "bridges" made from creepers or on the shoulders of the Indians.

Nurse, surgeon, dentist...

Macas, Sevillia Don Bosco, Sucúa are some of the "miracles" of Sr. Maria Troncatti's work that still flourish. She was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist, anaesthetist... But, above all, she was catechist and evangeliser, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience and fraternal love.

Promotion of Shuar women

Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple.

Sr. Maria died in a tragic air crash at Sucúa on August 25, 1969. Her remains lie at Macas, in the Province of Morona (Ecuador).

Proclaimed Blessed on the 24 November 2012



The Catholic Church in England and Wales launches Safeguarding e-Learning

If you have a role working with children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable, or if you are a parent who wants to understand on-line safety, I encourage you to read the e-learning safeguarding brochure. This explains what programmes are available via e-learning and how to access the programmes that interest you.

This e-learning package is part of the Church’s commitment to safeguarding, recognising we all have a role to play in creating a safe environment.


Download: Towards a Culture of Safeguarding




Download: Salesian Policy Statement

Please click on the following link if you wish to contact the Salesian Safeguarding Officer

After twenty four hours of rain the prospects for the 'outdoor' celebrations for the Province didn't look too bright, on Saturday (15th August). The thought of chairs disappearing into the lawns of Thornleigh and the fireworks being soaked through caused a sleepless night for the Provincial and the Bi-Centenary Team....

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...But on the day itself things came good and over 290 people (young and old) piled into the grounds of the Provincial House, Thornleigh and the School Hall and grounds of Thornleigh Salesian College. The Youth Ministry Team welcomed all the visitors showing them to the refreshments awaiting them, and the games and outdoor activities.


The Provincial Chapel of Mary Help of Christians was the scene for the celebration of Holy Mass, led by Fr Martin Coyle SDB, the Provincial, with the local Bishop of Salford in attendance, Bishop John Arnold. People were delighted also to witness the First Profession of Bro Ste Lloyd SDB (more about that below). The Chapel was spotless, the Readers in good form and the Musicians heavenly!!

After the Mass, the whole group trooped across to the School Hall for the performance of a specially commissioned Drama piece called 'Don Bosco - A magic Saint!' The piece has been travelling up and down the UK to schools, Churches, Halls and Cathedrals - but for many this was the first time they had had the opportunity to see it. (The tour continues, heading northwards to Lancaster and Middlesborough, continuing into the New Year).

As people chatted about the drama they had seen, they were expertly led by the Youth Team down to the food - a hog roast (plus a veggie version, obviously), salads, potatoes, pasta, wine and soft drinks. Sitting under the twinkling lights of the canopy people relaxed and chatted about their experiences of being 'Salesian'.

And on to the Grand Finale - amidst the smoke and the lights Don Bosco himself appeared to give his message to us all;



200 years. Who could have imagined it? (And I'm still looking quite good!)
My dream and my work began as a small flicker of hope, a beam of light, a spark of fire ....
And now we have the great Salesian Family all over the world;
truly amazing and something indeed to celebrate.
200 years ago the young people on the streets of Turin needed me,
They needed my help, teaching and guidance
They needed my care, concern and love
The little I could do, with the little I had, made a real difference to each of them.
My little mustard seed was enough to allow them to grow and to develop into the young people God had created them to be, with all their amazing gifts and talents and incredible potential.
Yes, I saw mustard seeds grow all around me, every day ..... And it was all God's work.
Today the young people on the streets of Great Britain still need the same.
They need the same help and guidance, care and love ....
They need you!
They need you the Salesian Family, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
They need you to be with them, to teach them, to guide them, to let them know that they are loved.
They need you to live the Salesian Charism .... today!
Thank you for celebrating this event here at Thornleigh. (I've certainly enjoyed it).
Live my dream, be my Salesian family in Britain today:
                  'Like Don Bosco, with the young, for the young'!

And then the fireworks began......


Monday, 17 August 2015 14:13

Congratulations to Bro Ste Lloyd SDB


On Saturday evening, the 15th August, Ste Lloyd make his first Profession of the Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity in the presence of the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle SDB. Supported by his parents, Margy and Gary, his niece and nephew, Alicia and Craig, family, friends and parishioners of his home Parish, St James' Bootle, the occasion was celebrated as part of the Province's Bi-centenary celebrations of the Birth of Don Bosco.

The Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians, Thornleigh Bolton was a fitting home for Ste's profession, and all the Province send him their prayers and good wishes as he starts his life as a professed Salesian of Don Bosco.

Also in attendance was Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford.


Saturday, 15 August 2015 11:53




"Do you want to do a holy thing, a very holy thing, a most holy thing? Educate the young."


The history of our society can be traced to an obscure village in the north of Italy called The Becchi.

Our history began, we may say, when little John Bosco dreamed a very strange dream at the age of 9. Or we may date the origins of our society to a surprise encounter that brought him face to face with a frightened street urchin in a church sacristy on 8 December 1841. Or perhaps to the little band of 17 young men to whom Don Bosco first gave the title ‘Salesians’ on 26 January, 1854.

But these historical facts barely explain our international existence as a ‘family’ of nearly 402,500 members in the service of young people.

With a feeling of humble gratitude we believe that the Society of St. Francis de Sales came into being not as a merely human venture but by the initiative of God.
(source: Const. Art. 1)


Friday, 14 August 2015 16:26


In his Apostolic Letter on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis encourages us to 'look back with gratitude; live the present with passion; look to the future with hope', so said Fr Martin Coyle SDB in his homily to the congregation at the Parish Church of St Joseph's, Blundellsands on the celebration of the anniversaries of Final Profession of Sister Elena Gibson FMA (Ruby), Sisters Helen Murphy FMA, Valerie Jackson FMA, Eileen Foley FMA (Golden) and Sister Helen Carey FMA (Diamond).

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L to R - Sr Helen Carey, Sr Eileen Foley, Sr Valerie Jackson, Sr Helen Murphy, Sr Elena Gibson

The whole congregation thanked the Sisters for their lives of dedicated service to young people as religious women in the Church - by faithfully following the example of Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello, and of being with the young in friendship and love.

The celebrations continued afterwards at the Provincial House, where everybody was invited to drinks, a lovely buffet and a cake which was expertly cut by Sister Helen.
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Tuesday, 11 August 2015 10:20


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Congratulations to Jakub Ruszniak SDB, recently ordained to the Priesthood.

Jakub, formerly of the Polish Province of Pila, was joined by his mother, father, two brothers, family, friends and Salesians for this great occasion. Representing the British Province was the Provincial Fr Martin Coyle SDB. Jakub spent two years on practical training at the Salesian School, Chertsey between 2009-2011. Also at the gathering at Rumia, were Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB, two staff from the School and two Cooperators (Pat and Brian Barnes)

Jakub, aged 28 transferred to the British Province on the occasion of his Final Profession, September 2013. Between 2011 and 2015 he has been studying for the Priesthood at Ratisbonne, Jerusalem.

Our prayers and good wishes go to Jakub as he takes up his new post at Bootle.

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Spring 2019

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