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Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:02

Memorial of Blessed Stephen (István) Sándor

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‘I feel the call to enter the Salesian Congregation. There’s a need for work everywhere;

without work, one can’t reach eternity. I like to work.’


On 8th June, we celebrate the memorial of Blessed Stephen Sándor, a Salesian Brother from Hungary, who was martyred on this day in 1953, at a time when teaching the faith was prohibited by the communist government.

Through the Salesian Bulletin and other publications by the SDB, Stephen came to know the spirituality of Don Bosco, and after a delay because of his conscription into the military, he became a Salesian Brother. He trained as a printer with the Salesians, mentoring and teaching the young trainees after he qualified as a Master Printer.

As the times became increasingly dangerous for priests and religious in Hungary, he was urged to flee the country, but he remained in order to continue his Salesian vocation with young people. He carried on his ministry to them in secret, and after the Association of Young Catholic Workers was banned, he worked to reorganise groups.

The communist government felt that orphaned youth – the young people the Salesians educated and cared for – could be formed as obedient officials and members of the secret police, and they recruited several of Stephen’s former students, who remained loyal to him and to whom he continued to minister. The regime used the fact that a religious had close access to police officials to concoct a conspiracy charge.

Stephen was working at a soap factory under an assumed name when the authorities discovered his true identity and arrested him, along with 16 others, including priests, lay people and a teenage boy and girl.  According to the granddaughter of a young man who was sentenced to death along with him, Stephen had the courage to speak up for the younger man, persuading the court to commute his death sentence to imprisonment. Stephen and two others were hanged on 8th June 1953. His family was not officially informed of his death until 1955. He was rehabilitated in 1994 by a Budapest court.


At his beatification Mass in 2013, Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest,said, ‘We celebrate in him the hero who was true to his calling as a Salesian brother, even at the cost of his life … We stand deeply moved before the victim of a show trial who was tortured, sentenced to death and executed based on false testimony.’


Read an account of his life by János SzöKe on the Salesians Ireland website



Saturday, 02 June 2018 09:26

Corpus Christi

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This Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, honouring the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.


Read more at the e-Testament


Monday, 28 May 2018 19:25

Memorial of Bl Joseph Kowalski

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During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the Salesians tried to continue with their education and youth work, despite the ban on non-approved programmes, but on 23rd May 1943, twelve Salesians in Krakow were arrested by the Gestapo.


Fr Józef Kowalski was sent to Auschwitz on 26th June, where he did all he could to encourage his fellow prisoners in Block 25, bringing them spiritual comfort and urging their will to survive; secretly administering the sacraments, talking to them about Don Bosco, and at least once, publicly giving absolution to all of the condemned at a mass execution.

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On 18 May 2018 the Military Secretariat announced the appointment of Fr Michael Fava QHC, priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth, to be the next Deputy Chaplain-General to Her Majesty’s Land Forces Army from November 2018. The role, in direct support of the Chaplain-General, is effectively that of Head of Army Chaplaincy Personnel, in the rank of Brigadier (or ‘one star’). This selection is the first time that a Catholic Chaplain has reached such an appointment in any of the three Services.

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The celebration of today's special feast calls for beautiful spaces, and our Province is fortunate in having talented young Brothers who use their gifts in honour of Our Lady.


At Chertsey, Br Mateusz prepared the St Francis de Sales chapel at Salesian School to provide a lovely focus for prayer and contemplation, and in Bolton, Br Po Tak created a banner in the community dining room as a centrepiece for the festivities.


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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 16:12

Salesian School makes pilgrimage to Arundel

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Friday May 18th 2018 saw another group from Salesian School Chertsey attend the second Diocesan Secondary School Pilgrimage to Arundel Cathedral. Nine pupils from years 8-10 were driven by minibus by Fr. Marco, Mrs. Morrison and Br. Mateusz.

After a remarkably stress-free drive for an hour and fifteen minutes, the group arrived at the designated car park where the schools were to congregate. Salesian School Chertsey was joined by about five other secondary schools from across the diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 15:34

Feast of Mary Help of Christians

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Our founder, St John Bosco, had a special devotion to Mary Help of Christians, and dedicated his Salesians to her. Her feast on 24th May is a very special day for the Salesian Family, and this year, we also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, the church Don Bosco built in Valdocco, Turin, in her honour. The picture above features a banner created by Br Po Tak Anthony SDB, to decorate Thornleigh Salesian House in Bolton for the feast.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 00:42

Cooperators' Marian day at Chertsey

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John Ryan sums up a vibrant day at Chertsey, in preparation for the feast of Mary Help of Christians, and Bernard O'Neill outlines the spiritual content.

On Sunday 20th May, Chertsey Cooperators under the guidance of Ken & Barbara Greaney, organised a Mary, Help Of Christians Celebration Day at St Anne's School in Chertsey, with talks by Fr David O'Malley SDB.

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The Stop Gaps Choral Ensemble, from Mumbai, India, gave a Pentecost concert at Sacred Heart, Battersea  on Sunday 20th May. 


The varied programme which included classical pieces, spirituals and Bollywood music, delighted the audience, and the funds raised from the event have been donated to Don Bosco BREADS (Bangalore Rural Education and Development Society). 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 11:40

We've updated our Privacy Policy

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - the new law UK and EU that increases your privacy rights and gives you better control over how your personal data is used - becomes enforceableon Friday 25th May 2018..


We have updated our privacy and cookies policy to ensure we are in compliance with the requirements of GDPR. Don Bosco Publications has also updated its terms and conditions for customers buying books. Please take a few moments to read them.


If you would like any further information, or wish to raise any issues about how we handle any personal information you have entrusted to us, please contact our Data Compliance Manager by email at:


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