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Thursday, 21 July 2016 13:25

Salesian YM counting down to World Youth Day

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The nineteen Salesian Youth Ministry pilgrims are making their final preps and checks ready to set off for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow.


One of the many highlights of the pilgrimage will be the International Salesian Festival, where our group will also meet up with the 21 young adults from All Saints, Sheffield, who took part in the GBR Salesians WYD preparation day.


The Festival will be held on 27th July at the EXPO fair site, with Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the SDB, and Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the FMA attending, and giving the 'Good Night' at the end of the evening of spirituality.


We wish them a safe journey and pray for them and all the WYD2016 pilgrims during this life-changing experience.



The Salesian and All Saints pilgrims during the training day at Savio House

Thursday, 21 July 2016 11:55

Thornleigh College group off to Tanzania

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A group of twelve students and three staff from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, (plus Fr Bob Gardner!) have set off on their journey to Moshi in Tanzania, where they will spend the next month volunteering in clinics and youth projects. 


The annual event is part of the college's Tanzania Project, which also calls on the students to raise funds for their trip and to provide materials for the projects  they will be working on. This year, every child at the orphanage will be given a teddy as a gift. Fundraising events included the 'Old School Disco', supermarket bag packing, entering a team in the Great Manchester Run, and obtaining a cash award from Asda. The students also took part in an intensive training programme at Savio House to prepare them for their experience.


In addition to their volunteer work, the group will spend time getting to know young people and learning more about their lives and their home town.


We wish them a safe journey and a wonderful experience with the young people of Moshi.










Owen Bond, a Year 11 student at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, received a Barbara Ward Award for Caring for the Environment this week at the Celebrating Young People Awards in London this week. Owen is pictured with Maria Pavlovski, the teacher who nominated him.


In a society where we too often devalue our younger members, the Celebrating Young People Awards was devised by Million Minutes, an organisation inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, to recognise the inspirational efforts of the remarkable young people in contributing to community life and making our world a better place.


As the leader of the College's ECO Group, Owen and his team do all they can to enhance the school's environment, including fundraising to cover the costs of their imporvements. He campaigned to reduce litter around the school by delivering assemblie - from a bin! Owen has also worked with the school and the local authroity's refuse deprtment to introduce recycling in the canteen. 


Read more about Owen's remarkable achievements on the Million Minutes website

Wednesday, 20 July 2016 10:01

Sacred Heart Battersea - Community Day

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What are the ingredients for a perfect barbecue?

Good company, a barbecue, and the sporadic showers you can expect in London. And, according to Br Kevin, there is no other way you would enjoy an original British barbecue.

Good or bad weather, the parishioners of Sacred Heart in Battersea celebrated the community with an open-air day together on Sunday the 17th. Games and a barbecue in the playground of St John Bosco College were the protagonists. As mentioned, the day started with some clouds, that brought a quite heavy shower, to then leave the space to a bright sun from early afternoon.

While the cooks were rapid in moving tables, grill, and sandwiches when the increasing rain threatened to spoil the food, the children strolled from one side to another with their colourful umbrellas. Some others kept on flipping the ball under the wet glass of the table football.

Kids were not put off by few drops, so did the adults, who, as soon as the bad weather stopped for a moment, moved again bowls and sandwiches under the gazebos. The queue for fresh grilled meat was made on the opposite direction – so that people would have been covered from the occasional rain that reappeared a couple of times more – and the party went on.

A group didn’t wait for the first sun rays to appear to walk back again in the football field. And actually, the smiles, friendly conversations, and the games that resumed, made soon the good weather.

The Filipino community prepared a traditional dance. With floral decorations and bright skirts, the women performed perfectly coordinated, cheering up the whole community.

A presentation was also made to thank Father Peter, who has served as Parochial Administrator in the last two years and a half. Fr Peter will remain with us at Sacred Heart, but from this summer on, the Parish will welcome a new Parochial Administrator.

The afternoon, later on, saw a completely different performance in the school hall of St John Bosco College. In this latest weeks, we have heard a lot about unity and foreigners. The Slovak Community Theatre presented a play all about the challenges and thoughts of the young and growing population of migrants: Migrants’ Rhapsody.

On the stage, the beginning of the journey, the encounter with a chaotic London, the strenuous conditions of dreaming about the future. The young actors from Slovakia brought to life these and many more of the components of the fragmented and often lonely life of a migrant.

Because of the norms of security, as a line of the play goes, you cannot bring your whole heart with you, in the country you are moving to. So, as a foreigner, the risk is to live half, with part of you here, and part in your motherland. Where is home? How will improve your future life?

A shared joy is a double joy. And the time spent together at Battersea was just another proof of the enjoyable atmosphere a community gathered can recreate, no matter what the weather will be like.

Cristiana Ferrauti

Filipino traditional dance 4

Traditional Filipino dance



Young people enjoying some football


presentation to Fr Peter

Presentation to Fr Peter

cakes sale 2

The delicious cake stall


Slovak Community Theatre 4

Sloval community theatre




Salesians, family and friends were welcomed by the Thornleigh community at the weekend, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fr Bob Gardner's ordination to the priesthood. 


A beautiful Mass was celebrated in the chapel, followed by a buffet in the community dining room. Tributes were paid to Fr Bob's enthusiasm and ability to connect with young people by the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle and Fr Michael Winstanley, Rector. Fr Michael also presented a mosquito net and some other items that Fr Bob will find handy on his forthcoming trip to Tanzania.


The celebration was a joyful occasion , and very much enjoyed by all who attended. Fr Bob also appreciated the many messages and assurances of prayers he received. Thanks you to the community, Julie, Janet and Brenda of Thornleigh House for the superb catering and organisation, to Dan Antonio for the lovely music at Mass, and to all who helped to make the celebration such a happy and memorable occasion.


We wish Fr Bob every blessing for the next 25 years and more!




Young people from in and around Chertsey gathered in the Salesian community on the evening of 12th July to share friendship and to relax after the long and stressful lead up to the GCSE and A Level examinations. The young people were mostly from Salesian School, Chertsey and St John the Baptist School, Woking.

They got to know each other quite quickly and discussed their GCSE exams, their career goals, ambitions in life and different universities and colleges that they have applied to. They discussed the ranking of different universities in UK and the reasons why some universities rank higher than others and the requirement for students to get admission in the top ranking universities.

The students shared their experiences about different jobs they were doing now after their exams and how they helped others who were looking for part time jobs to get into the companies that some of them were working for.

They discussed their faith and the possibilities of keeping the faith alive while living away from parents and friends in the coming years. From this sharing emerged the idea to conduct a ‘home mission’ among the young people around to mobilize young people in the community to get involved in the Church and local community events more actively.

After the sharing and discussions the young people gathered in our community chapel and recited the Holy Rosary and prayed for themselves and for the whole world.

The gathering came to its conclusion with a shared dinner. The young people brought several food items from home and shared what they had. They all enjoyed being together and benefitted much from the discussions.


Fr Cyril John Edamana SDB


In the beginning of July, young people of Salesian Youth Club in Bootle (near Liverpool) went for a mini-holidays organised by Youth Active group. Shirdley Hill Residential Centre, was chosen as a base for the coming few days filled with fun.

The campsite had a lot to offer: from swings, aerial runway and trampoline, to archery, bonfire and evening movies - there was something for everyone to enjoy. Youngsters divided in two groups were competing against each other, gaining points for their teams.

On the last day winners were rewarded with the trophies and congratulations. The weekend was concluded with a Sunday Eucharist, which the young people animated in various ways: playing, singing and serving for the Mass.

During the liturgy they also presented their hand-made works, through which they expressed their gratitude for the time spent together. The group returned to Bootle in the evening happy and sound.

Fr Jakub Ruszniak SDB





Year 7 pupils from Salesian School, Chertsey and St John Bosco College, Battersea met at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre recently for a joint study day on Don Bosco and Salesian work around the world. RE staff from both schools were involved as were Fr Saju, Fr Cyril and Fr Peter Pagac.

Henry Allinson of Salesian School Chertsey tells us what they did: 


On Thursday the 7th of July, a group of year 7s from Battersea and Chertsey got together to talk about the work of Salesians from different countries. We all really enjoyed it and we learnt a lot. We talked about the life of Don Bosco. We also saw Don Bosco’s chasuble.

At the start, we all showed each other our different power points about Salesians in different countries. We learnt a lot and we added to our knowledge of Salesians in different parts of the world. We all got on very well and we were all very excited. After that, we read some of the writings of Don Bosco and we identified the key point in his life which influenced his priests and us today. We then realised that he mainly looked after children because they are the people he saw in his dream with Mary and Jesus. We now know that he couldn’t always get the attention of people, so he had to peform in front of his friends whilst telling the Gospel. We analysed whether we were following his teachings today or whether or not we were doing what Don Bosco did almost two hundred years ago.

After that, we had recreation time where we played and chatted to our new friends. We then went back to the parish centre, where we chose our favourite quote from either St Francis de Sales or St John Bosco. After that, we wrote these quotations on a blank bookmark with a sharp stick and fresh blue ink. We put green ribbons on it and we then used it as a book mark. Next, we went into the church where we were blessed by a relic of Don Bosco, and we were allowed to look at the chasuble that he wore himself. We sat inside the church where we prayed for our friends and family. We were led out where we were given a generous gift of a Don Bosco keyring, made by Fr Sadu. We then waved goodbye and we then we returned home.

Every one really enjoyed the day, and we learnt many new facts that we never knew before. We all really benefited from this trip and we now know how to be better Christians.


Henry Allinson



Thursday, 07 July 2016 10:04

Blessed Mary Romero Meneses

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On 7th July, the Salesian Family remembers a sister of the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians, who was born in Nicaragua and carried out her mission with the poor in Costa Rica.

Blessed Mary Romero Meneses was a contemplative in action in the mould of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello: a valued spiritual director and writer, who took a practical approach to alleviating the suffering of the people arond her, especially the young. She built proper homes for the homeless, organised volunteers to help families living in dire conditions, and built a church in Saint José to encourage the Salesian devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians.

Because of her work for the people of Costa Rica, the government made her an honorary citizen. She died in 1977, and was beatified in 2002.

Read more about her life and work

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 12:36

Assistant Accountant Job at Provincial Office

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An excellent opportunity has arisen at our Provincial Office in Bolton  for an accountant with a wide range of experience. This is an exciting role working in a small team and reporting to the Finance Manager. There is scope for the right candidate to increase levels of responsibility in the future and to assist with the development of computerised accounting systems. On a day to day basis you will ensure the effective administration of finances at Provincial Office and across the charity as a whole.

See our Job Vacancies page



The perpetual profession as Salesians of Don Bosco of Brother Kevin and Brother Joseph was received by the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle SDB on Sunday.

The congregation, including 20 fellow SDB’s, rejoiced at the blessing of God of the Brothers Kevin and Joseph to the province and the Worldwide Congregation.

‘God’s love is for all, and we are all called to a universal vocation’ said Fr Martin in his sermon to the congregation, ‘but some are called to follow Jesus in a radical way, as Religious within the Salesian Society, called to serve young people.’

Surrounded by family and friends Brother Kevin and Brother Joseph committed themselves to ‘live obediently, poor and chaste for ever’ and asked Mary Help of Christians, St Joseph, St Francis de Sales and St John Bosco to keep them faithful to this commitment.

The music prepared by Dan Antonio fittingly enhanced this beautiful ceremony, and was executed to perfection by the singers and musicians.

Later on all were invited to Savio House, Bollington to continue the celebrations in gorgeous sunshine. Fr Tony, Rector and the Community had organised food and drink to supplement the spiritual blessings.

Brother Kevin was joined by his mother Hannah, his brother Paul and Annemarie and Martin (sister and brother-in-law). Brother Joseph was joined by many friends from London – Fr Martin SJ, Bro Anthony SJ, Thai, Trang, Quoc, Quynh, David and Francis.

As the Province rejoiced in such a great day, the whole Salesian Family were there to witness the joyful commitment of Brothers Kevin and Joseph – many members of the Salesian Youth Ministry Teams contributed so much energy and friendship to the whole proceedings – and we all thank God for such a beautiful day.

In the summer, Brother Kevin will be ordained Deacon and will minister in the Parish of the Sacred Heart in Battersea, London; Brother Joseph will be ministering in the Province of Africa, Great Lakes – he will be working in a technical school and oratory in Uganda

Please keep them both in your prayers.






Sunday, 03 July 2016 15:08

Turin: in Don Bosco's footsteps

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Henry Hawkins of Salesian College, Chertsey, shares his impressions of Don Bosco's city

I recently went on a trip to Turin, and aside from it being one of the most culturally and architecturally rich cities I’ve ever seen, it’s a city that offers an amazing religious experience for anyone of any age. In the short time I spent there, I found that even two days is enough to experience the beauty of a city like Turin, especially when you’re lucky with the weather! The fact that I’ve never been to Italy before probably allowed me to create some more romantic expectations of what I thought the culture of Italy would be like, and I can say that Turin absolutely lived up to those expectations.

On the first day, we visited “Colle Don Bosco” (close to where Don Bosco was born and grew up) it was great to finally see a place of such significance that you hear so much about. It is incredible to experience the sort of environment that Don Bosco grew up in, and to see for myself the type of upbringing he would have had in a typical farm in the middle of the Italian countryside. Not only this, but the chance to gain some insight into the historical context of Don Bosco’s youth allowed me to understand much more the purpose of his work. My understanding of Don Bosco’s character was further deepened by our visit to the Salesian Museum at Colle Don Bosco. We also visited a couple of the small chapels that Don Bosco would have attended (including one that his brother built for him) when he lived there, and it was a special opportunity to take a look at the places where a young Don Bosco would have prayed. Later on the trip we managed to visit Don Bosco’s private rooms at Valdocco, which was quite a contrast to the place where he grew up, but both emphasised his great humility. Colle Don Bosco and Valdocco were both fascinating locations and they gave me the chance to gain some perspective on the sort of environment that Don Bosco grew up in and the kind of work that he engaged in.

When speaking about architecture, Our Lady’s Church of Consolation is the definition of grandeur. Fortunately we had the chance to be part of the congregation during a Sunday Mass but as we couldn’t speak Italian we got distracted by the glorious interior and our own individual prayers. It was just a small part of Christianity’s Italian history that I got to see whilst I was there – but undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. We later visited the Shroud of Turin, which is really an item on the bucket list for me at least. When I was there it took me some time to understand what I was really praying to, because something as significant as that in the story of Christianity does need some time to comprehend. And you definitely could tell by the amount of people that were visiting it.
Finally, the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians was a great way to spend the last day, just taking some time to appreciate Dons Bosco and Our Lady. It would have been Don Bosco’s dream to have the basilica built, especially in such a beautiful condition. Furthermore, I was allowed the opportunity to confess; a privilege I was glad of. Thankfully the priest spoke English and it was made a bit easier because I knew I’d (hopefully) never see him again! Being able to be in the presence of the relics of Don Bosco was also a privilege I greatly appreciated, and one that hopefully I’ll be able to experience again. The presence of his relics in the Basilica act as a great place of homage and a reminder to anyone today of what he accomplished during his lifetime, and how we as Christians should carry this on.

You can definitely see the effect Don Bosco’s work still has on people today; the work that he did was phenomenal and he undoubtedly changed the world for the better. The trip gave me a lot of insight into what it means to be a young Salesian co-operator, that even the smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest difference. If anything it was a simple reminder that as a co-operator I should always be striving to emulate the work that Don Bosco undertook in my everyday life.

I think it would be wrong to say I had a favourite moment, because that would be suggesting that some moments were worse than others, and that’s just not true. But overall, I think the most valuable thing you can take from these sorts of experiences is the time you spend with friends and meeting new people. Life is made for travelling and growing as a person; you should always be experiencing new things no matter what. The lesson I learnt was how the people you surround yourself with can influence the type of experiences you have. I found this to be something that I thought was not only applicable to a weekend away, but also to life as a whole. Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy, or maybe in a different case have the same goals as you, and you’ll find that anything that you experience is made that much better by your friends, family and loved ones. And I’d honestly like to say that I don’t think it’s just people that play a part in making these events happen, and that God must play a part in it somehow; whether it’s by bringing people together or giving us the places to experience, I think we should all be grateful for that. I can honestly say that it was a weekend I’ll never forget, and I know there’s at least Someone I have to thank for that.



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