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Peter with Anita from BOVA at Thornleigh House

Peter Hampshire has recently returned from an overseas placement with Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) in southern Vietnam, where he joined Don Bosco Dong Thuan, a residential vocational school. When he visited Thornleigh House for a post-placement “debrief” with BOVA Coordinator Anita, I asked him about his impressions of the project and the country, and the difference the experience has made to him.

I spent most of my time supporting community activities, teaching some English, and supporting the students with their music, sport, prayer time, and just generally joining in with meals and activities. The age range was mostly 15-22, but the oldest was 24 and the youngest was 13. The students come from all over Vietnam and they have very different backgrounds - some are very rich and some are very poor. Most of them come from socially tough backgrounds, maybe their parents have split and they've had difficult things to deal with.


I think the main motivation for families sending them was to help them appreciate the importance of education, and to give them a good education and good values. They were trained in vocational skills as well, mechanics and engineering for the boys, sewing and hair and beauty for the girls. They can almost guarantee the students a job after they graduate from the school, so it's a good system. When they leave, some go back to live with their families and work near home, but many go to Ho Chi Min City for work, and they’ll find places to live there.


Friday, 17 August 2018 13:47

Salesian schools celebrate A-level results

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This year's A-level results day in England and Wales fell on Don Bosco's birthday, and we're sure he was praying for young people every bit as much as their familes and friends were.  The Salesian schools we've heard about so far had a lot to celebrate on 16th. Pictured above are students from Battersea (top) and Farnborough (bottom).

Thursday, 16 August 2018 11:34

Fr John Dickson: 50 years a Salesian of Don Bosco

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As we all celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary this week, Fr John Dickson SDB had an additional cause for celebration. Fifty years ago, on 15th August 1968, he became a Salesian of Don Bosco.


Fr John is a highly respected historian who has published widely on Salesian history, especially on the foundation of the mission to England. He is currently Rector of the Chertsey community, and for the past six years, has been the RC Chaplain at the Royal Holloway, University of London. He is pictured above with Royal Holloway's Chaplaincy & Faith Support Intern, Nina Mattiello Azadeh.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018 15:54

It's our founder's birthday!

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Our founder, St John Bosco, was born on 16th August, 1815, in a tiny hamlet called Becchi, in the hills of the Piedmont area of Italy.  His family were agricultural labourers, and John was only a toddler when his father died, leaving his young widow Margherita to bring up three boys alone. She was a resilient and resourceful woman, who instilled compassion and charity into her family despite their own poverty, and brought her boys up strong in faith.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018 10:46

Sacred Heart Battersea closed for redecoration

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Sacred Heart, Battersea, the first Salesian church ion the country, will be closed until 12th September 2018 while the building is redecorated. It is a great time of change in Battersea as work is also being done on the other parish church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Joseph's. On 12th October, the newly renovated Sacred Heart church will be at the centre of celebrations for the 125th Anniversary of its consecration.

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Don Bosco Publications is delighted to launch the English edition of The Educational Preventive System of Don Bosco Today, by Carlo Nanni SDB, renowned philosopher of education and Rector of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.


The book presents Don Bosco's approach, which is based on the awareness that education is not only a matter of instruction and the acquisition of skills, but also concerns the formation of intelligence, of freedom, of the capacity to love and to do good to others. Prof Nanni demonstrates how this tried and tested system is applied today, working with young people facing the issues of our contemporary society. 


Essential reading and inspiration for all who work with the young, this English edition was translated by Jim Gallagher SDB and Brian Jerstice SDB, by kind permission of the author.


Order online now from Don Bosco Publications: £10.00 including UK p&p. For overseas or bulk orders, please contact Don Bosco Publications: 01204 308811

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 11:33

Farewell to Fr Cyril SDB!

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Fr Cyril Edamana SDB has returned to India after nine years' ministry in the UK.


He will be much missed by all those whose lives he touched at the schools and parishes in Battersea and Chertsey, and at Savio House. His absence will also be felt beyond the Salesian Family, especially by the Syro-Malabar Catholic community, to whom he was a valued support. 


From all of us the UK Province, thank you Fr Cyril. Good luck and God bless you in the future!

Thursday, 09 August 2018 16:28

New Rector for Farnborough Community

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On Sunday 19th August during Mass in the chapel of St John Bosco House, our Provincial, Fr Gerry Briody, presided at the installation of Fr Patrick Sherlock as rector of the Farnborough community. In the photo above, Fr Pat is in the centre of the front row, with Fr Gerry behind him.

Thursday, 09 August 2018 10:57

Update - We are fully connected again!

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Thursday 9th August 2018 - Following the latest engineer visit this morning, we are delighted to report that, at last, our internet connections have been repaired and, with phones already fixed, we have rejoined the 21st century!

Where possible during the protracted and complex problems, we were accessing email on our phones and at home, and doing our best to operate as usual, signal and data allowances permitting. However, there are certain procedures we can only carry out from the computers and terminals in the office, for example, processing orders and payments. We are now working to catch up with those tasks we couldn’t do while we were offline.

We again apologise for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience. 

Thursday, 09 August 2018 09:04

VIDES Holiday Hangout 2018 in Croxteth

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The VIDES UK team kicked off a busy summer with a project for children aged 4-6 in the local community of Croxteth, Liverpool.


The Celebration of Nations" theme lent itself to plenty of fun and games over the four days of activity, as well as showing the children the work VIDES does in other countries, making pizza and learning a little Italian. The team encouraged the children to think about the "friendship request" God is sending to each of them, and how they can respond.

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