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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

 

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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

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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 12:36

Assistant Accountant Job at Provincial Office

Written by

ThornleighHouseExt

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

PProfBrsKevinJoseph1

CELEBRATION OF THE PERPETUAL PROFESSION OF
BROTHER KEVIN O’DONNELL SDB
AND
BROTHER JOSEPH DAO DUC QUOC SDB
AT
ST GREGORY’S PARISH CHURCH, BOLLINGTON
ON SUNDAY 3RD JULY, 2016

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.

 

BrsKevinJoseph2

 

RiteofProf

 

Sunday, 03 July 2016 15:08

Turin: in Don Bosco's footsteps

Written by

ChertseyTurinMural

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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Somme100Owen

 

One hundred years ago, on 1st July 1916, the bloodiest battle in history began. The loss of life and injuries, both physical and emotional, had an impact on Europe for generations. 

 

We remember all those affected, and pray for peace today and for the future.

Don Bosco Single -edited

 

In September last year a band from Salesian School, Chertsey, The Boscos, released a single to celebrate the bicentenary of Don Bosco and almost a year later we are happy to report that sales of the single exceeded 1,000 and that the single made it into the Amazon top 10 sales chart as well as number 3 on their 'Movers and Shakers' chart.

Particular interest for the single came from Brazil, Italy, India, Spain and Poland. In fact, 'Rome Reports' featured a short news item on the single! See their feature here.

Messages of congratulations came from Alfie Joey - Radio Presenter, Comedian, Actor; Paolo Mitton the Italian film director; Hannah Croft of Croft and Pearce; and Julie Etchingham, the ITN News Presenter.

The whole experience was unreal and we would like to thank everyone who supported our effort to mark 200 years of Don Bosco.

Fr Andrew Ebrahim

 

Watch the music video on YouTube 

 

The single is still available to buy - links are below the video

YMPilgrimage

Salesian Youth Ministry is delighted to have had so much early interest in next year's pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There are now only 3 places left, so please contact Sue McDonald as soon as you can (and definitely before 1st September!) if you'd like to take up this amazing opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jesus 'in an adventure of the Spirit'. 

 

There will be a preparation weekend for all pilgrims at Savio House, which will be arranged as soon as places are filled.

 

sue@salesianyouthministry.org.uk

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:27

Weekend for young Brothers in formation

Written by

YoungBrothersGBR IE500

June 16th – 19th is a weekend that will be remembered by each of the young brothers in formation this year, not only those in the GBR Province but also the Irish province.

Frs Kieran and Konrad, the people responsible for formation, organised a joint weekend in Northern Irelnd for those in initial formation. This included; 3 Polish, 3 Vietnamese, 2 Maltese, 2 Irish, 1 Scot and 1 Englishman.

The weekend was coordinated by Fr Hugh, a SMA priest living in South Africa but currently preaching retreats in Europe. Fr Hugh spoke to us about the gift of celibacy and how we should be aware and proud of our celibate state and also our sexuality.

Fr Kieran in his very witty style commented on the weekend by saying ''we thought we were getting sex in the city, but end up with celibacy in the countryside".

Our time together was one of great insight, inspiration and most importantly, brotherhood.

A remark was made that this type of event should become a regular occurrence in the formation diary. There is something special about young Salesians being able to gather together to be open and frank without the watchful eye of the formators.

We all truly enjoy this experience even if some of us had to drive a 10 hour journey in gale force wind and rain. I'm sure we shall be rewarded in heaven...

 

Bro Ste Lloyd

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:23

Celebrating Sts Peter and Paul

Written by

SSPeterPaulQuTW

Sts Peter and Paul, whose solemnity we celebrate today, are truly realistic models for all of us, and demonstrate the loving mercy of God towards each one of us: Peter, who despite his all too human ability to say and do the wrong thing, was rewarded with enormous trust from Jesus when he chose him to lead the fledgling Church; and Paul,  a persecutor of Christians to whom Jesus revealed himself, giving him a second chance which he used to to bring this revelation to others. Happy, prayerful feast!

Cardinal: No to racism, hatred and division

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Post-referendum Statement from Cardinal Nichols: 28 June 2016

Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said:

"We all need to reflect on what has been a tumultuous few days and ponder what is needed now.

"Firstly, I am very conscious of the Polish community in Hammersmith or of people confronted by banners in Newcastle. This upsurge of racism, of hatred towards others is something we must not tolerate. We have to say this is simply not acceptable in a humane society and it should never be provoked or promoted.

"Racism and hatred must never be tolerated, but there is no need for fear. We always place our lives at the foot of the cross; in the hands of Jesus. We have an important job in defining the horizon against which we live and that is where the profound values we seek to embody really come to life: when we see ourselves living in the presence of God, living with that transcendent horizon. If that transcendent dimension is simply put to one side, if there is no space to see ourselves under the providence of God and living consciously in the presence of God, then society closes in on itself and becomes much more self-centred and much more divided.

"I am sure that every leader needs to reflect on our failure to listen and to give voice to those who feel voiceless.

We need to grasp again our basic sense of purpose; in living together, creating together and fashioning a society. It is that sense of purpose that we may have lost focus of; believing that the purpose of politics is to manipulate power; the purpose of business is simply to make profit for a few. This challenge has been with us for a while now.

"Our purpose must be our common good, the good of all with no one excluded. Our politicians have to deal with their issues, businessmen and banks with their issues, but the fundamental purpose is to build a world in which strength is used for service and no one is excluded.

"The great challenge for those leading the nation now is to speak for everyone. If a victory in a referendum remains a point of division, then we become weaker and weaker as a nation and not play a part in the international scene tackling the world's problems, which are great and challenging."

 

Source (Text and photo): Bishops' Conference, England & Wales

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On the 9th February 2016 we flew out to Kolkata with Fr Andrew, his Mother, and Mrs Moore. We arrived early the next morning (local time). When we arrived at Kolkata airport the Ambulance from the Ashalayam was there to greet us and take us to Don Bosco Park Circus School. DBPC is a school with two cohorts of children. There are day students, who pay for their education, and evening students living in the slums for whom the fees are paid by the daytime students. We briefly got to see some of the evening students on their way to class before getting shown to our rooms.


The next day we visited the Don Bosco School in Bandel. We sat with a couple of classes of our age-group for a couple of hours and discussed our differences. Two things that struck me was their friendliness and their pride in their school. It really hit home how much we take our education in the UK for granted, and more often than not we view it as a chore more so than a privilege. The boys in Bandel displayed their talents ranging from music to comedy. We had a surprising amount more in common than any of us expected. We would start a song for them to join in.


On Friday we visited some of the houses of the Ashalayam. We arrived at the first house to be garlanded with flowers. It was amazing, and impossible to put into words. We gave each of the boys we met at the Ashalayam a t-shirt. Their gratefulness was amazing, and I will remember it forever. They surrounded us and asked for pictures to be taken with us. These children have virtually nothing, yet their smiles were just priceless.


Each house of the Ashalayam we visited performed for us, and we performed back. One thing which I believe the entire group found amazing was just how talented they are. When we shared a show with them, the 5-year-olds from Asha Deep (one of the Ashalayam houses) were definitely by far the best.


I think the one instance that hit closest to heart and will continue to affect me forever was from the 5-year-olds of Asha Deep. We went into this “house” of the Ashalayam to find 17 nursery-aged children asleep on the floor under a single mosquito net. Mdrabbul, a student from the Ashalayam who cares for the youngest, woke them all up and we gave them their t-shirts. The joy in their faces, and the pride they took as they folded their t-shirts perfectly before they were put away was just unimaginable.

 

It will stick with me forever, just how happy they were for a single article of clothing which in England we would take for granted.

 

Robert Soane

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