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Over 100 members of the Salesian Family came along last Saturday and Sunday to the two seminars delivered by Fr Louis Grech SDB on accompanying young people. The participants in Bollington and Battersea included Salesian priests, sisters and Brothers, youth workers, Cooperators, and parishioners, all of whom shared a commitment to young people, and wanted to know more about Don Bosco’s method of supporting and nurturing them spiritually.


Our Provincial, Fr Gerry Briody, welcomed Fr Louis, and talked about the powerful final document from the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, which acknowledges the importance of listening to and understanding young people, both vital elements of the Salesian approach.

 

Assisted by well-chosen and very amusing video clips, Fr Louis talked about the capacity of the young for adapting to change, and about the need to speak the language of the young before we can properly listen to and guide them.

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Fr Poitr, Sarah, Fr Peace, Fr Carlos and Br Sheldon outside the communty house.

 

While she was on holiday in The Gambia, Sarah Seddon, Manager of Don Bosco Publications, took the opportunity to visit the country’s recently established Salesian mission, with some gifts from our Province.

 

On Monday March 18, I took a break from relaxing in the sun to pay a visit to a new Salesian community the small Manjago village of Kunkujang Mariama in The Gambia. I took with me a case of Don Bosco Publications' books to help with the Salesian mission there. Travelling off the tourist trail to a little village in the middle of the African bush can be rather daunting, but I received a warm Salesian welcome and was immediately put at ease.

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Maureen Devereux, mother of Sean Devereux, maintains strong ties with Liberia, where Sean began his humanitarian work as a volunteer with the Salesians. She recommended that the country take part in the Special Olympic World Games, held last week in the United Arab Emirates, and was there to see Liberia's athletes win THREE Gold Medals - and a Bronze! Photo: KMTV Liberia

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A team of pupils from All Saints Sheeffield, a school in our Salesian Network, has been crowned champions of the Subsea UK 2019 STEM Challenge, which saw five teams from across the UK compete to design an underwater vehicle to collect plastic from the sea. The STEM challenge, led and organised by Subsea UK saw more than 50 teams of secondary school students compete in regional heats to earn their place in the final in Aberdeen.

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To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Salesian Sisters arriving in Scotland, Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John Keenan to mark 50 years in Scotland for the Salesian Sisters in Scotland. Fittingly, the Mass is in the parish where the Sisters' work in Scotland began: St Fergus Church, Ferguslie Park, Paisley, at 3pm. All of the Salesian Family is invited.

 

In 1969, the Parish Priest at St Fergus invited the Salesian Sisters to the area, and in August of that year, three sisters began teaching at the school, living in a council flat for the first few years. Two of them are still with us: Sr Agnes McGuiness is now in Croxteth; and Sr Elizabeth O'Donnell, who was recalled from South Africa to be one of the 'Paisley Pioneers', is in the Easterhouse community in Glasgow.

 

Please put the date in your diaries. We will have more information soon.

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Our reflections this Lent are based on the Strenna (or gift) of the Rector Major for 2019 - 'Holiness for you too'. We present extracts from his commentary on the Strenna, and thoughts on holiness from members of the Salesian Family, along with scripture readings and prayers for you to pray and reflect on during each week of the Lenten season.

This week, on International Day of Happiness, Theo and George, volunteers on the Savio House Retreat Team, write about where they see holiness and happiness in their work with the young. Photo: the Savio House Team 2018-18.

 

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Last week, Fr Marco Villani SDB, Chaplain at Salesian School Chersey and Province Justice and Peace delegate, led a special assembly for Year 7, telling pupils about the work of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). He was ably supported by two Year 13 students, and the presentation included a video of Pope Francis calling on us to pray for persecuted Christians.

 

At the end of the assembly, Fr Marco received a cheque on behalf of ACN for £500 , which has been raised by the Chaplaincy over the past few years for this important cause.

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Football-mad kids in Tanzania were delighted to be togged-out in Bolton Wanderers' kit, which was generously donated by fans, in a 'Kits for Africa' campaign supported by Salesian volunteer, Paul Barnes, who helps with the youth group in the parish at Arusha when he is the country. Paul was involved in collecting donated kits, and on his last trip to Tanzania, helped distribute 150 donated shirts. The parish priest, Fr Dennis, received a full set of kit for the youth group's football team.

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Salesian School Chertsey continued its Fair-trade work with a Bake Sale last week, raising £90 in just ten minutes! A Fairtrade Cake made by one the teachers raised over £30 by itself, bringing the grand total to £123. Many thanks to the pupils of the Chaplaincy team at Salesian School Chertsey for their invaluable help. Photo: Students at the sold-out stall with Fr Marco SDB.


Chaplain Fr Marco Villani SDB, has been taking students to visit local schools to spread the Fair-trade message. Last week, the pupils and staff at Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School, Hersham, were very welcoming and enthusiastic when Niamh and Calogera (Gera) visited their former primary school to talk about Fair-trade.

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Fr Jakub Ruszniak SDB, Chaplain of Savio Salesian College Bootle, writes about the first of their retreats for children from local promary schools.

 

Lent is a time of renewal. We are invited to pause and reflect about things that are truly important. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving are different ways which help to refocus our attention on Jesus and prepare ourselves for the greatest Christian festival which is approaching. Our Lady of Walsingham Primary School decided to begin this special season by taking part in the Lenten retreat organised at Savio Salesian College.

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