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Request from BOVA


Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) is the volunteer organisation of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the UK, offering opportunities for adults (18+) to learn through action; serving the young and the poor alongside Salesian communities around

the world. In all aspects of BOVA's work there is a focus on providing a well- planned educational experience; stimulating, preparing and encouraging a long-term involvement with development issues, faith in action and the Salesian


Read James Trewby's appeal for support as a PDF file.

Monday, 07 April 2008 17:15

Farnborough AGM and Luncheon 2008

Farnborough AGM and Luncheon



A good turnout was evident for this year's AGM on 6th April, which was a real delight to the new Farnborough President, Greg Sudell. This was in spite of the snowfall that greeted the participants when they arose that Sunday morning.

The meeting commenced with Holy Mass which was celebrated by Father Francis Sutherland SDB and concelebrated by Father Brendan McGuiness SDB. It was great to have the Headmaster's Secretary and her family joining us for this

Mass. Father Brendan kindly opened his offices, so the early arrivals to stay out of the cold and wet.

Download John Ward's full report, with pictures.

Monday, 17 March 2008 15:56

Battersea AGM/Reunion

Battersea Annual Reunion


On Sunday 16th March 2008 the Annual General Meeting and Reunion of the Battersea Association took place. Chairman, Nicholas Potter, was delighted at the number of young Past Pupils and of the number of Pupils who are in their final

year at Battersea Salesian College, who had joined this event.


He, and the gathering gave them a warm and heartfelt applause. From the pictures above showing some of the younger attendees, many might recognise that, on this occasion, the meeting was taking place in Surrey House, so dear to the

hearts of the older members. It was being held in the former Science Room which, for reasons outlined later, may not be an opportunity for much longer.


Chairman then welcomed Stephen McCann, Headmaster, who had kindly given his day to the Association to deliver a presentation on the proposals for a new Voluntary Aided Catholic Secondary School in Wandsworth. This will be built in the

grounds of the current Salesian College, to replace the existing College and the John Paul 11 School.


Stephen then presented an excellent PowerPoint display which dealt with the numerous issues involved in such a major undertaking. The new School will be a mixed school and will have a 6th Form, some- thing that was gladly accepted by

many of the Battersea Past Pupils. It was also something that impacted the opportunity to develop the Battersea Old Salesians Association.

The presentation was warmly applauded and lead to many questions from the meeting, both from young and old. Stephen was able to give useful answers to the many questions put to him, on this interesting and imaginative project.

Stephen provided copies of the Consultation Document. This is a joint proposal by the Diocese of Southwark, The Salesians and the London Borough of Wandsworth.

The meeting was preceded by a wonderful Palm Sunday Mass in the College Chapel. This was celebrated by the Rector, Father John Dickson SDB. The Concelebrants were Fr Des O'Riordan SDB, Fr Joe Brown SDB, Father Peter Burns SDB

and a visiting Priest from Poland, Father Tadeusz SDB.


Father John preached an inspirational Homily, which our Master of Ceremonies, David Relton, on behalf of the Congregation thanked him for at the opening of the speeches at the Excellent Luncheon. The Annual luncheon was up to its

customary very high standards. 70 members, guests and friends sat down to enjoy a really good, entertaining and enjoyable repast; preparing themselves for the inevitable speeches which were so amusingly introduced by Master of

Ceremonies, David Relton.

The first up was one on the young- sters, James Harris, who read out a number of Poems that he had written, which he called "A Poetic Offering". Then the School Captain, Ben Xiberras, read out a short "Thought for the Day". This showed

the deep effect on him of the Salesian ethos gained during his education at Battersea Salesian College.


Father John Dickson and Stephen McCann gave short addresses, but then, what they were all waiting for happened. Their Association President, Nicholas Potter, strolled to the Podium and before long had the whole place in stitches. He

had some new stories, even if some of them were lost on some, or most, of his audience.

This rounded off yet another wonderful reunion, topped by the knowledge, that their members have already raised over £7,400 towards the 2007/8 National Mission project in support of the education and boarding for 90 students in three

African countries. Both Nicholas Potter and National President, Patrick Morrissey, had already expressed their immense gratitude to the Battersea Old Boys and their friends and families for this wonderful generosity.

Favoured Sons and Daughters


The 1st March 2008 edition of the Tablet contains a Featured Article on the Salesians. Written by the Tablet's Rome correspondent, Robert Mickens, it refers to the number of Salesians and Salesian Sisters who have important positions in

the Vatican, and to the large number of Salesians who have been made bishops. However it also contains a very good overview of what the Salesians are really about!

You can read the article on the Tablet web site. You will need to 'Log in' using your email address, and then look down the left hand column under 'Further Reading' for Previous issues... 01 March 2008.


[Note: It appears that the article has been deleted since this was written, however you are able to find a full account here]

Thursday, 29 November 2007 15:38

Fr Sean Crummey RIP

Fr Sean Crummey RIP


Fr Sean Crummey who was attached to the Provincial House Community, Crumlin, Dublin, died peacefully at 11 a.m. on Wednesday 28th November 2007, in St Mary's Home, Beechmount, Falls Road, Belfast 5. Fr Sean was 90 years of age

and had been very ill for a number of years.

He was a native of Belfast and entered Shrigley as an aspirant on 16/9/29, completed his Novitiate in Cowley, Oxford on September 8th 1934, where he also completed his Philosophy. He did his practical training in Warrenstown and

Blaisdon and completed his Theology studies in Blaisdon from 1939-43 where he was ordained on 25th July 1943.

After Ordination he taught in Farnborough from 1943 to 1957, then in Cowley from 1957-59 and he then moved to Ireland where he taught in Pallaskenry from 1959-78. In 1978 he went as Curate to the Pro-Cathedral, St Peter's Square,

Belfast where he remained until 2006. His health had been deteriorating for some years and later in 2006 he moved to St. Mary's Nursing Home.

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Sean, for his many relatives and friends who grieve for him and for the Salesians of the Irish Province. May he rest in peace.

Funeral Arrangements

REMOVAL to the Pro-Cathedral, St Peter's Square, Belfast, Thursday 29th November, for Mass at 7.30 pm

FUNERAL MASS in St. Peter's at 12 noon on Saturday, 1st December

BURIAL in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after Funeral Mass

Report of the Funeral -


Friday, 09 November 2007 15:31

Fr Patrick McGrath RIP

Fr Patrick McGrath




Fr Pat McGrath passed away early on Thursday 8th November 2007. He taught in Salesian schools at Pallaskenry, Burwash, Shrigley, Bolton, Blaisdon, Cowley, and for 27 years at Battersea, where he became head of History. After retiring

from teaching in 1986, he spent most of his remaining years assisting in the Sacred Heart Parish, Battersea. He will be remembered for his humility, his humour and kindness, his dedication and hard work and his deep spirituality.

The Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Friday 16th November at 7.30pm

Reception of the body in the Sacred Heart Church, Battersea.

Saturday 17th November at 11am

Funeral Mass in the Sacred Heart Church, Battersea.

The Funeral Mass will be followed by lunch in the school hall at 12.30pm.

Priests who wish to concelebrate are asked to bring albs and white stoles.

May he rest in peace!

The Blaisdon Brotherhood site has a report from John Ward on the Funeral of Fr Pat McGrath. –


Monday, 15 October 2007 16:27

Cowley AGM/Reunion 2007

Cowley AGM/Lunch 2007


A most enjoyable Cowley Association Reunion was held on Sunday 14 October 2007 at the Four Pillars Hotel, which has become our preferred location in recent years. This facilitates our use of the Salesian Parish Church of Our Lady Help of

Christians for our Mass. Father Hugh Preston told us that his brother Father Francis, who is in the Holy Land, was celebrating Mass in Jerusalem and would be remembering our Reunion at that Mass.

Mass was celebrated by Father Hugh Preston, with Father Joe Merriman concelebrating. There was a congregation of Cowley Salesian Past Pupils who were in good voice. One of our regulars, Father Pat McGrath, was not with us, due to the

fact that he was in hospital in Frimley, near Farnborough, having suffered a quite serious stroke. He and others were remembered in our prayers.

Below are a few Photos of the event. When we get them, I will add a list of the names of those who attended, in the hope that this might encourage others to attend next year.

Richard Blake, Cowley President/Chairman


Early arrivals enjoying a chat over coffee and biscuits


Richard Blake chairing the meeting with his committee


At the meeting, Guest, Len Carter of Blaisdon, back row right in shirt order


More at the meeting with attention gripped. Father Joe Merriman a regular, back row left

Battersea: Maroon and Gold Issue 4


The latest edition of the Newsletter of the Battersea Old Salesians is now available. The front cover is shown below.


Please contact Nick Potter, OSA Chairman, if you wish to read the newsletter and Tony Doran, the editor, if you wish to write for it.

Monday, 09 July 2007 16:16

Blaisdon Association Annual Reunion

Blaisdon Association Reunion



The Blaisdon Annual Reunion took place during the weekend 7th to 8th July. The photograph above was taken by John Ward's granddaughter.

You can read more about the event on the website of the Blaisdon Brotherhood. (Look under News/Gallery).

Thursday, 05 July 2007 15:57

Walk a Mile Student Pilgrimage

Catholic Children's Society

Walk a Mile - Student Pilgrimage



On Wednesday, 4th July 2007 the Annual pilgrimage walk of students from Catholic schools throughout out the Westminster Diocese took place, starting at Tyburn and culminating in a wonderful Liturgy in the Nave of Westminster Cathedral

in London.

This walk was in honour of St. John Southworth who was martyred at Tyburn in 1654 for providing Mass to Londoners. The ceremony was celebrated by Bishop Bernard Longley, assisted by Dean Jim Richards, also CEO of the Catholic

Children's Society.

You can read more about the event, and the involvement of Blaisdon Past Pupils, on the website of the Blaisdon Brotherhood. (Look under News/Gallery).

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