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This week, our Salesian schools and parishes are joining the rest of the country in considering the impact of war on families, especially those who died, suffered and lost loved ones in the First World War, as we mark the centenary of the Armistice.

 

Many of our schools have memorials to Old Boys who died, and other memorials around the country record their names too. At the time of the Great War, the Salesians had their Novitiate in Burwash, Sussex. Although St Joseph’s, the Salesian church, was demolished long ago, its graveyard remains, and in it stands a crucifix memorial with each side of its base recording the names of Old Boys from four Salesian Schools – Burwash, Wandsworth, Battersea and Farnborough.

Thursday, 08 November 2018 23:58

An unusual school visit for All Souls' Day

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Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB, Head of RE at St John Bosco College Battersea, writes about a very different school trip.

 

We had a very unusual RE trip on the feast of All Souls when we took some Yr 11s to Putney Vale Cemetery. Part of the RE GCSE syllabus focuses on Eschatology and what better way to understand it than a trip to a cemetery!

 

After an overcast day on the 1st November, we were blessed with beautiful weather for the after school trip where students consolidated their knowledge of the differences between what was a tomb stone, a memorial and what a garden of remembrance looked like.

Our hope is that the practical lesson will pay dividends for the summer...and in the life to come!

 

Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB

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Rosemary Addai-Kwateng Head of Year 7 at St John Bosco College Battersea writes about a moving assembly led by one of her groups.

 

One of my Year 7 form groups put together an exceptional assembly on remembering our loved ones during the month of November. Reading the names of each family member, friend and those people they have lost gave other pupils the chance to remember their loved ones and to share in the sorrow of their contemporaries.

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Teaching departments at Salesian School Chertsey came together to support students in a range of activities to pay tribute to those lost in the First World War, and other conflicts. A touching display at Reception included contributions from History, Graphics, Textile and RMT. History teacher, Hannah O'Neill describes the activity her department offered students.

 

With the centenary of the ending of World War One, the History Department has encouraged students to investigate their own family history. This has uncovered a wealth of stories from conflicts over the past 100 years, from ancestors being involved in the liberation of Nazi internment camps to nurses taking care of the wounded on the battlefields.

 

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We have exhibited these on a memorial wall to commemorate the sacrifices made, including some stories from members of staff. The project that has been largely focused on Year 9s has been a huge success, sparking conversations on the theme of remembrance throughout the week of 11th November 2018.

 

Hannah O 'Neill - History teacher at Salesian School Chertsey

 

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Working with the charity 'Link to Hope', the students in years 7-9 and the students in Sixth Form have packed over 155 shoe boxes with goodies, decorated them, and sent them off to families in the poorest areas of Eastern Europe.

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Last weekend, young adults and religious from around the country gathered at the Conforti Retreat Centre in Coatbridge to explore together what it means to be a young Catholic in Scotland today.

Monday, 12 November 2018 09:36

Just arrived: our new children's book

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Don Bosco Publications' new children's book, 'The Star from the East', is now in stock. This beautifully illustrated Christmas fairy tale will delight children, and all of the family

 

Order now from our online bookshop, £11 including UK p&p, or contact Don Bosco Publications for postage cost for multiple copies, and for bulk and overseas orders.

 

 

Thursday, 01 November 2018 16:31

Visit to Rome - a Salesian Synod diary

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Fr Roman Szczypa SDB, from the Savio House youth retreat team, was recently part of the Salesian group who went to Rome to hear more about the work of the Synod. He tells us about the experience,

 

The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) organised a meeting for Youth Ministry workers in England and Wales in Rome during the Synod on ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’. Speakers from the USA, Ireland and England were invited to attend this meeting, bringing their experiences and talking to us about them. In my opinion, each of our group was delighted to spend five days in Rome, a very special place, and it was a great idea to have the meeting in Rome at the same time as the Synod.

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Rectors from the communities of the Province met with the Provincial and his Council from 28th - 30th October.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 11:13

Young advocates inspired to change the world

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Abi dancing with young people

 

In the third article from Share the Light, a charity created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough with young people in Zambia, Sophie Astles discusses how the experiences of young advocates has influenced their career choices.

 

For the majority of our advocates, their visit to Zambia is the first time that they are really confronted by the extent of their own privilege. While images of those living in poverty or without the luxuries that we so often take for granted are regularly presented to us on the television, the impact of this is inevitably diluted and short-lived. However, upon arriving in Mazabuka, it quickly becomes apparent to our advocates that mundane aspects of their lives such as education, hot water, electricity and three meals a day are not enjoyed by the majority.

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