Visitors to Ratisbonne
It's is not too often that the Salesians in Jerusalem get visitors from the UK but in the last week of February 2011 they welcomed not one but two groups of pilgrims from the UK. Both groups had strong Salesian connections. Fr Francis Preston, Rector of the Ratisbonne Salesian College of Theology, writes:
On Monday 21st February a group of pilgrims from the east Midlands led by Sr Susan, a Presentation Sister, spent a couple of hours with us. Fr Gerry O'Shaughnessy was chaplain to the group and he was able to meet two of our students who completed their practical training in the GBR Province: Br Jacek (Jack!) who spent two years in Bootle and Br Dariusz who was on the staff of Salesian College Farnborough for two years. The photo above was taken in our community dining room.
On Friday 25th February Ms Della Shenton, who runs the Fifth Gospel Retreats in the Holy Land, brought a group of pilgrims from the Plymouth diocese to visit our Community. Della has done much good work in recent years promoting the sale of wine from the Salesian winery at Cremisan, just outside Bethlehem. Among the pilgrims was one of the Cooperators from the Truro group and the Bishop of Plymouth, Mgr Christopher Budd. The pilgrims joined our Community for evening prayer at the end of which Bishop Christopher imparted the blessing of Mary Help of Christians and gave the 'Goodnight'. He shared with us some of his memories of the five years he and his brother spent as boarders at Salesian School, Chertsey. It was during that time that he began to consider his own calling to priesthood. He also stressed the privilege our students have of studying theology in the Holy Land, the place where it all happened. The photo of Della, Bishop Christopher and myself was taken in our chapel - apologies for the quality.