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Paul Barnes, who has been a volunteer in Moshi, writes about the recent celebrations marking 25 years of the Salesian presence in Tanzania. Our Province has a long connection, and a group of staff and students from Thornleigh Salesian College will be visiting Moshi again soon.


On Saturday 22nd April 2017 representatives of the whole Salesian family gathered at Don Bosco Moshi, Tanzania, to celebrate 25 years of Salesian activity. Moshi is in the foothills of Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa and known as the rooftop of Africa. The Salesian foundation is part of the East Africa Province whose Provincial House is in Nairobi, Kenya.

Friday, 28 April 2017 17:58

New Salesian Youth Project needs volunteers

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Salesian Youth Ministry is seeking 24 volunteers for an exciting new summer project in Battersea, running from 18-27th August 2017.

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Salesian House, Battersea has been shortlisted for a 2017 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)  London Award!


Salesian House is home to the Battersea Salesian community, and its flexibly designed spaces also provide guest accommodation and work rooms which can be used by visiting groups of young people. The copper-clad chapel overlooks an attractive landscaped garden that extends the contemplative atmosphere to the outdoors.  


Sited right next to the recently built St John Bosco College and officially opened on Don Bosco Day in 2016, Salesian House was the final stage in a vision for Battersea inspired by Don Bosco's Oratory model - where each Salesian house and work is a home, a school, a church and a playground.


The completed scheme has already had success at the  New London Awards  and the  UK Property Awards. The 2017 RIBA London Award winners will be announced on 22 May 2017.

Photographs ©  JZA Photography  and  Will Scott

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As we continue the season of Easter, Michael T Winstanley SDB encourages us to go beyond a 'cocktail approach' to look more deeply into the messages each of the evangelists have for us in their accounts of the passion and death of Jesus.


Many people in the UK, I’m told, enjoy a good cocktail, ordered at a bar or produced at home; the ‘Rusty Nail’, ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ and ‘London Fog’ feature amongst the current favourites. Many Catholics too seem to relish cocktails, cocktails of a different kind: scripture-based varieties.


At Christmas in cards, carols and cribs we readily mix items of Matthew’s nativity narrative with details from that of Luke, often without realising what we are doing. The same is true with our perception of the passion and death of Jesus. We tend to blend bits of Matthew and Mark with extracts from Luke and John, and occasionally toss in a Station of the Cross for good measure. Usually, this isn’t done consciously, and we are probably unaware of our thinking and creativity. From one angle, perhaps it doesn’t matter if this cocktail approach enables us to appreciate the suffering of Jesus, his love for us, and moves us to respond to him with gratitude and love. From another angle, it’s unfortunate, I believe, because it means we are not in touch with the differences in the four Gospel presentations; we can miss important messages for our theological understanding and our spirituality.

Thursday, 20 April 2017 16:30

Easter Triduum 2017 at Savio House

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The Easter retreat at Savio House began with a lively Passover meal, and then the youth and young adult groups attending worked to create a wonderfully prayerful atmosphere for the Easter services.

As the photos show, (thank you URSpace & Sr Gill for these!!), the weekend was a spiritually uplifting experience with plenty of fun too, in the Salesian tradition.

Thursday, 20 April 2017 15:21

Salesian Family Formation Day, 27th May

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Join the Salesian Cooperators and the Salesian Sisters for this Formation for All Day on Saturday 27th May 2017 from 11 am - 4pm, in Oxford. The focus of the day is on Mary, the Mother of God and her journey, both physical and spiritual, as she responds to God's call in her life.

The event will be led by Sr Pauline FMA and will include opportunities to listen, to reflect, to share and to pray. PLEASE come along and meet up with new and old friends!


Tea and coffeee will be provided, but please bring a packed lunch.

Contact Sr Pauline: paulinefma@googlemail.com by SATURDAY MAY 13th to secure your place.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 12:31

Salesian Family Day coming up in Croxteth!

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St John Bosco Arts College, Croxteth, is hosting a fabulous, action-packed family day on Sunday 23rd April.


With plenty of attractions the event promises to be a great way to spend Sunday afternoon for 'kids' of all ages.  If you are in or around Liverpool this weekend, go and see!


Entry is free, as are many of the activities. Gates open at 12.30pm.

Sunday, 16 April 2017 16:54


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Thursday, 13 April 2017 16:41

A letter from Embu ...

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Well, it's an email actually, but that doesn't sound nearly as nice! Fr Francis Preston SDB, who is now in Nairobi, dropped us a digital line this week with news from a recent trip to Embu, where he met Sr Geraldine Reakes, who will be well known many of the Salesian Sisters in the UK.


Over the Palm Sunday weekend I had the opportunity to pay my first visit Embu, a town about 80 miles north of Nairobi, on the outskirts of which are two Salesian communities. The Salesian Sisters have a secondary boarding school there, and on an adjacent site the SDBs run both a secondary and a technical school. They have also a large farm.


I travelled to Embu from Makuyu, another Salesian centre that is situated midway between Nairobi and Embu. I had spent a couple of days at Makuyu, at the invitation of the FMA Provincial, Sr Giselle, giving some input to a gathering of FMA animators [local community leaders] from different parts of Kenya. Among the animators attending the gathering and helping with the input was Sr Geraldine Reakes. Sr Geraldine grew up in Chertsey where she got to know the Salesian Sisters. She subsequently joined the Sisters and has spent nearly all her life as a Sister working in different parts of East Africa.

To conclude our series of Lenten reflections on the theme of Salesian Missions, in Holy Week, we move from the Americas to West Africa, and look at the British Salesians mission in Liberia, and our continuing partnership with the Anglophone West Africa Province. Three of the first SDBs to serve in Liberia, Fr Joe Brown, Fr Harry O’Brien and Br Donald MacDonald, talk about their experiences during a period of tremendous instability, hardship and danger.

FrJoeBrDonaldFrHarryApril2017Fr Joe, Br Donald and Fr Harry

On 11th April 1980, following a fact-finding visit by Fr George Williams SDB, the UK Salesians voted at their Provincial Chapter to adopt the mission in Liberia. The following day, a coup brought down the Liberian government.


Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA)sends volunteers to serve with Salesian projects around the world. Volunteers have the oportunity to use their exisiting skills and talents, and to learn about other cultures while developing new skills and helping the young in a variety of projects. Hiowever, when making a commitment to live in a totally new environment and culture, good preparation is essential, and BOVA has a great dela iof expertise in valuable new skills and and good preparation is essential.


In early April, two volunteers met with BOVA's animator Anita and Fr Martin Poulsom SDB to spend the weekend discerning discerning long term placements in Salesian communities overseas starting summer of 2017. The team is looking forward to welcoming them back for Round 2 of training!


This item below was written by Sue McDonald of Salesian Youth Ministry as a guest post on the Catholic Truth Society’s Catholic Compass blog, to mark the 32nd World Youth Day on 9th April 2017. Sue is pictured above at Flame 2017 with Chris (left) and Br Janusz (right) from the Savio House Team, wearing their Don Bosco scarves and hi-vis Stewarding gear for the event.


Many groups adopt some sort of outward sign of membership: it could be a school badge, a football scarf, a wrist band. Salesian Youth Ministry has its Don Bosco scarves, worn as a symbol of family. 


Everyone searches to belong in some way, to be at home with others. When we find someone or something we can identify with it becomes part of who we are. When we believe that we belong and are valued, we will proclaim it with joy and conviction alone and as one. This is the Salesian call – family.
Our charism is one of togetherness: a four-pronged spirituality balancing belonging, learning, celebration and faith with, and for, the young. Don Bosco, our founder, began this mission meeting the young on their turf, in the streets, pubs, workplaces and homes. He walked alongside them offering them a spirituality in which they were assured of being loved. I think this is why we have such a strong network of volunteers – they have all known love, the love of Christ, through the Salesians of Don Bosco.

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