Salesian Family Study Days
For 2010 the Salesian Family Link Group (Consulta) decided to hold Study Days simultaneously in three venues, Bootle in Merseyside, Chertsey in the South East of England and Easterhouse in Scotland. Thanks to Fr Gerry O'Shaughnessy and Fr John Dickson for the reports below.
All Saints Primary School in the Salesian Parish of St James Bootle played host to the 'central' Salesian Family Study Day on Saturday 23rd January.
Peter Hunter acted as host for the day and introduced Fr Hugh Preston's amazing and interactive presentation on Don Rua. We were able to learn so much more about our second Rector Major and how he oversaw a rapid expansion of the Congregation. The Bosco Gang of Savio Salesian College helped out during the lunchtime and gave a great hand to our St James' hospitality team.
Sr Connie Cameron and Mary Cotter (VIDES) led the afternoon session sharing with us details of the very attractive new training materials now available on Salesian Spirituality that can be used in a variety of settings, at different levels and for varying age groups.
The Rector, Fr Tom Williams then led a concelebrated family Mass in honour of both Don Bosco and Don Rua in St James' Church with music provided by the parish liturgy team.
A great day for all who attended: well organised and planned with good ideas coming forward to make these more FAMILY style days, remembering the great days we shared with the Rector Major, Don Pascual Chávez.
The family day at Chertsey attracted a great crowd of 120 Cooperators, Sisters and Salesians from all over the south including the ADMA group from Manor Park in London, who enthusiastically took part in the day held at the Salesian School Highfield Hall. Among the guests were Sister Georgina McPake and Sister Linda Cameron who presented the Salesian Spirituality programme which they had piloted and developed to spread the Salesian vision among young adults.
Mr John Lydon welcomed members of the Salesian Family including Fr Michael Winstanley the Provincial and all the members present in the name of Mr James Kibble the Headteacher.
The opening address was illustrated with a DVD on Don Rua and Battersea which had been produced by Fr Andrew Ebrahim and Bro Jakub from Chertsey and this was followed by an talk and slides which explored Don Rua's letters to the English Province, which have recently been published in Rome.
The day ended with a celebration Mass hosted by Fr Peter Brealey and the Chertsey community at St Anne's church.
Hosting was provided by the Chertsey staff and Cooperators. Pupils from the school started the proceedings with an opening prayer and helped with teas and welcome throughout the day.
In Scotland the Salesian Family Study Day was held at the parish primary school, Saint Benedict's. Fr Brian McGraw gave the morning presentation on Don Rua, and in the afternoon Sr Sue McDonald and Fr David O'Malley presented the materials for schools and adult groups prepared by the Salesian Family Spirituality Team. The day ended with a wonderful Mass in honour of Saint Francis de Sales.