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Fr Jakub and the Savio Salesian College Chaplaincy team have been on retreat with the Year 10 students, by the sea at Formby.

What does it mean to be a child of God? What do we actually mean by saying that humans are created “in the image and likeness of God?”. That was the topic of Y10 retreats at Savio Salesian College this year.


Three groups of students made a trip to St Joseph’s, Formby, to spend a day of reflection, fun activities, games and prayers. The purpose was to pause for a moment a think about how special and important we are in the eyes of God.



One of our brothers in formation, Martin Pushparaj SDB, renewed his vows last weekend at Savio House. Br Martin, a Project Europe missionary to Great Britain, is a member of the retreat team at Savio, welcoming hundreds of young people each year and providing typically Salesian activities to refresh and nurture them, mentally physically and spiritually. The renewal of vows took place on Sunday evening, after a busy weekend helping to prepare children from the local parish for confirmation. It was witnessed by members of the Thornleigh community, and of course, Savio’s community, which is made up of both Salesians of Don Bosco (SDBs) and young adults who volunteer to spend a year on the team.

While he was at Thornleigh House last week on retreat, I talked to Br Martin about his vocation and formation, and we also chatted about vocation more widely, with the recent Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment fresh in our minds.



Fr Larry McDonnell SDB was an Irish Salesian, known to many in our Province from his time at Shrigley and elsewhere, in the days when the British and Irish Provinces were one, before following his missionary vocation to Swaziland.


The impression Larry made on his students and those he mentored - a list that includes prominent figures in business and politics in the region - was so profound that his former pupils decided to pay tribute to him in the form of a book. 'Larry, Simply Larry' by Elias Masilela, tells his remarkable story. Larry died on Christmas Day last year, shortly after the book was completed and launched in Swaziland.

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The latest project from the Bosco Centre in Bermondsey is a community cafe in the Docklands Settlement, serving delicious food and real coffee at affordable prices, while giving work skills and experience to young people with special educational needs.


The Bosco Centre was founded three decades ago by Sr Cecily Dunn, who died three years ago today (24 May 2016), and the cafe is the project of the current director, Darren Coghlan.

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On May 19th the Salesian Cooperators organised a retreat day for all Cooperators centres in the South. They gathered about fifty participants, who spent some time reflecting on the Strenna theme of holiness for you.

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Ryan from our Youth Ministry team tells us about the recent event in Krakow


Recently I had the opportunity to visit Kraków, Poland, for Savionalia 2019 and it was incredible! It was such a privilege to represent the GBR province out in Poland and we were made so welcome. The weekend was packed with activities and I thoroughly enjoyed all the prayer, liturgy, games, music and dancing. Friday was filled with animation from the different groups of young people before going for prayer and reflection in the evening.




Last Thursday, I went with Fr Bob Gardner SDB, Delegate for Publications and Social Communications, to Munich, for the 4-day European meeting of Salesian Social Communications delegates, chaired by Don Filiberto González Plasencia SDB, General Councillor for Social Communications.


In preparation for our 28th General Chapter, which will take place in Valdocco in February, we were asked to consider what sort of Salesian communicator is needed for the youth of today, and we spent time discussing this in language-based groups (English and Italian), and then sharing the results of our conversations.

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We would like to invite all members of the Salesian Family to attend a two-day workshop on The Enneagram on Saturday 2nd November- Sunday 3rd November 2019.


The day will be led by Fr John Mc Cluskey, a Mill Hill priest currently living in Freshfields, England. He is trained in the Enneagram and his specific presentation style and approach is excellent. He comes highly recommended!

Friday, 17 May 2019 15:34

VIDES weekend - holiness for you too!

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David McCormick from VIDES writes about an amazing weekend


Holiness is for you too. A phrase I am sure that we are all fairly familiar with this year, as the Rector Major has challenged each of us to consider how we can find holiness in the simplicity of our everyday lives. This was also what was asked of a group of young people who have recently taken part in a VIDES for Youth weekend at Barnstondale activity centre.


The group of young girls, from St. John Bosco, Croxteth arrived with lots of energy (and snacks) on Friday evening and were welcomed warmly by our team who had been preparing for the weekend for quite some time. The weekend kicked off with everybody’s favourite part – the ice breakers – before we introduced how the weekend would run and some of the things that could be expected. In keeping with tradition, we closed and started each of our days together with a form of prayer and reflection, helping us to focus on the Salesian young people whose stories we can learn so much from. The young people were asked how they could relate different parts of these stories to their own lives, think of their hopes and dreams for the weekend and the future, and were also given space to pray for something in their lives.


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In 2017, St John Bosco Arts College, a Salesian Sisters' school for girls in Croxteth near Liverpool, became the first UK school to send a delagation to China, after it was selected as an ambassador school by Access China UK, an organisation which funds school partnerships in China and promotes the exchange of ideas through different international programmes, and paired uop with a sister school, Wenzhou No.2 Foreign Language School.


Text and photos: The Foundry Agency

Students from St John Bosco Arts College  have recently returned from an eight day trip to China. 36 students from years 9 and 10, plus four members of staff, embarked on the 10 and a half hour journey from London to Shanghai, and immediately commenced their whistle stop tour of some of the sights of China by visiting The Bund, a waterfront area in central Shanghai and one of the most famous tourist destinations.

The following days saw visits to The Shanghai Museum, The Yuyuan Garden and the Yuyuan Bazaar, Zhujiajiao Water Town, Jiangxin Island on the Oujiang River at Wenzhou city and Wuma Street Shopping in Wnenzhou and the magnificent views from Wenzhou Jiushan Park.

Everyone entered into the cultural experience with enthusiasm using chop sticks and eating the local food at the numerous local restaurants.

The group then travelled by fast train to Wenzhou at speeds of up to 217 mph to visit its sister school, Wenzhou No.2 Foreign Language School.

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