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Monday, 04 April 2016 15:37


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2016-04-01 12.13.06

The Provincial Chapter of the British Province ended on Friday afternoon (1st April). Thirty five members attended the Chapter which was held at the Royal Foundation of St Katherine's in Limehouse, London.

The main tasks of the Provincial Chapter were to look at the Implementation of the GC27, to determine the criteria and guidelines for the reshaping of the Salesian presences of the Province, the revision and re-writing of the Province Directory and a piece of AOB looking at the Province response to the recent announcement on Academies by the Government.

Led by the Moderator Fr Bob Gardner SDB the Chapter members explored the main tasks and celebrated being 'Province'.

Prayers and 'Good nights' were shared by all the Communities of the Province, whilst Fr Michael Winstanley SDB, Fr Kieran Anderson SDB and Fr Martin Coyle SDB presided at the Eucharist.

Thanks are offered to all for a wonderful week, but especially to the preparation committee who worked with Fr Bob - namely, Fr Francis Preston SDB, Fr Kieran Anderson SDB, Fr Graham Forristalle SDB and Fr Saju John SDB. Thanks also to the Chapter steering committee of Fr Michael Winstanley SDB, Fr Gerry Briody SDB and Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB.


In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, young people aged 13-16 have written reflections on the theme of mercy for a new book, created by the Salesian School, Chertsey. This little book provides a revealing insight into what mercy means to young people today, and appropriately, all profits from its sales will go to support suffering Christians in the Middle East.


The book is available from Don Bosco Publications, priced at £2.50 a copy, plus p&p. Contact Sarah or Bernadette on, or Fr Andrew Ebrahim



Sunday, 27 March 2016 14:15


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Wishing you all a very happy Easter - every blessing on this great Feast!!

Thursday, 24 March 2016 16:15

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week

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As we enter the Holy Triduum, we wish all of you peace and consolation in reflecting on the Passion of Jesus, and the hope he gives us, in looking forward to the joy of Easter and eternal life.


This week, in a video message the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, appealed to the whole Salesian Family for prayer for peace on Holy Thursday, with a special intention for Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, the Salesian kidnapped in Yemen.

Holy Thursday is a key moment of the liturgical year. On Holy Thursday Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood, he began his Passion and was totally abandoned to the will of the Father. This is why the Church has always celebrated special vigils and moments of intense prayer on that day.

For this very reason, looking at the suffering in so many parts of the world, "with so many people of different religions and confessions suffering a real martyrdom", Fr Á.F. Artime invites everyone "to spend a time of very intense prayer on Holy Thursday evening, as we accompany Jesus in the pain and loneliness of Gethsemane".

"I sincerely hope that all our Salesian Family throughout the world and our young people will be united, in different places and at different times, in this one prayer for peace" continues the video message.

Speaking on behalf of the whole Congregation, the Rector Major "also expressed our closeness and our solidarity" with the family of Fr Uzhunnalil. While assuring them that he is monitoring closely the painful affair, he asks the Lord to give Fr Tom “a deep peace that he may live through the experience trusting in the Lord Jesus."


You can view the video here on YouTube

Thursday, 24 March 2016 15:58

Salesian tickets for Flame 2017 going FAST!

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Next March may seem a very long way off, but 200 of the tickets Salesian Youth Ministry has bought for Flame 2017 have now been reserved by groups. There are now only 300 left, so if you're taking a Salesian group of young people to this brilliant event, get in touch with Sue McDonald ASAP to reserve yours.

The tickets are £18 each, and it's 'first come, first served', so don't miss the boat!


Contact Sue on


Thursday, 24 March 2016 15:49

Job Vacancy

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Residential Team / Programme Leader - Savio House, Bollington, Nr Macclesfield

Salary: £20,000 pa (Accommodation included)

Hours: Full time

Length of Contract: 2 years


Our retreat centre for young people in the beautiful Cheshire countryside needs a new Residential Team / Programme Leader.

The team is made up of Salesians of Don Bosco, staff and volunteers, most of whom live together in the community at Bollington, and share the work of planning and leading retreats for schoolos and other groups.


The closing date is Monday 18th April, and interviews will be held on Tuesday 10th May. 


Application packs are available from: Miss Emma Jarvis, Savio House Retreat Centre

Tel: 01625 575405 Email:


See the job details on

Friday, 26 February 2016 10:39

Salesian Youth Ministry - WYD Friday Reflections

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As we prepare for World Youth Day as a Salesian group, we have committed to providing a reflection each Friday. Here is the first of the series:

Salesians pilgrimage to WYD2016 Kracow - 5 months to go!

Theme for WYD2016: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt 5:7)


10 minutes to spare:

If you have 10 minutes to spare I strongly recommend following the link below and reading the full text of Pope Francis' message for World Youth Day 2016. He invites us to reflect on and respond to God's mercy and highlights the unique opportunity we have as pilgrims to celebrate WYD in Kracow, home of the Divine Mercy Shrine, during this Jubilee Year of Mercy: Read it here

2 minutes to spare:

If you have 2 minutes to spare, then I recommend reading this extract from Pope Francis' message which stood out to me as an inspirational anecdote as well as a challenge:

God’s mercy is very real and we are all called to experience it firsthand. When I was seventeen years old, it happened one day that, as I was about to go out with friends, I decided to stop into a church first. I met a priest there who inspired great confidence, and I felt the desire to open my heart in Confession. That meeting changed my life! I discovered that when we open our hearts with humility and transparency, we can contemplate God’s mercy in a very concrete way. I felt certain that, in the person of that priest, God was already waiting for me even before I took the step of entering that church. We keep looking for God, but God is there before us, always looking for us, and he finds us first. Maybe one of you feels something weighing on your heart. You are thinking: I did this, I did that.... Do not be afraid! God is waiting for you! God is a Father and he is always waiting for us! It is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of the Father in the sacrament of Reconciliation, to discover that the confessional is a place of mercy, and to allow ourselves to be touched by the merciful love of the Lord who always forgives us!

You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever felt the gaze of everlasting love upon you, a gaze that looks beyond your sins, limitations and failings, and continues to have faith in you and to look upon your life with hope? Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love? Saint Paul tells us that “God proves his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Do we really understand the power of these words?

Sue McDonald, Salesian Youth Ministry


Friday, 19 February 2016 09:52

Lent Fast Day

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Today, Friday 19 February, is Lent Fast Day. This year, CAFOD’s Lent Appeal will ‘Turn on the Taps’ to help thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Uganda to gain access to safe, clean water. Apart from the obvious benefit to health, the local provision of safe water transforms lives in many other ways. CAFOD spoke to Proscovia, a 14-year old girl in Uganda, who took on the task of walking long distances each day to collect the family’s water while her mother worked to support them: ‘I found it very difficult to put on a uniform after walking so long for water. I didn’t want to go to school dirty or late.’

Every £1 we give to the Lent Fast Day appeal will be doubled by the UK Government, so we can really make a difference to people like Proscovia.

If you can get online today from 1:30 – 2:30pm, you can join the CAFOD webinar to hear how your support has made a difference in the lives of real people.


We share the CAFOD Lent Fast Day Prayer:


Merciful God,

Source of all that is good, wash us clean of all that prevents us from seeing you in each of our sisters and brothers around the world.

Transform our hearts this Lent, through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to be open to the needs of all those who thirst.

Spirit of compassion, move us to share with all people the water of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord,



Source: CAFOD

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 10:55

Ash Wednesday

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Today we begin the season of Lent. Many of us will have decided how we will mark this time of contemplation and preparation, but perhaps some are still considering. Inspired by the Year of Mercy, our 'Lenten Wednesdays' series of emails this year offers readings, reflections and prayers centred on themes from Catholic Social Teaching. If you would like to receive the weekly reflections, please send a message to

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:21


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The opening ceremony


Archbishop Peter Smith and Fr Martin Coyle SDB

Every feast of Don Bosco is a great day of celebration for the Salesians and Salesian Family, for every Salesian Parish and School, but Don Bosco’s Day in 2016 was particularly special in Battersea.


This weekend saw the completion of the building and the opening of the new Salesian House and the re-launch of the Salesian Mission after 128 years. It was the final stage in a comprehensive re-development of the buildings and facilities in Battersea: first the new facilities attached to the Sacred Heart Parish, then the new build for St John Bosco College, and now a new home for the Salesian Community.


The vision for this new development comes from Don Bosco’s ‘Oratory Model’, where he wanted every Salesian house and work to be a home, a school, a church and a playground.



There is a real sense of a ‘new beginning’ and of an opportunity to ‘build new bridges in Battersea’ around this project and the new facilities available. It is a chance to begin again, to cross the traditional boundaries of home, school and church, and to work together for the benefit of young people. It is also a great opportunity to break out of those traditional buildings and reach out to all people in the spirit of Pope Francis’s ‘Missionary Church’.


The principal guests at the opening ceremony were Archbishop Peter Smith (Southwark) who blessed the new house, Fr Michael Casey SDB (Provincial of Ireland), Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea, Balham and Wandsworth, Cllr Mrs Tessa Strickland and Bishop Howard Tripp (retired).


Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle SDB

The Headteacher of St John Bosco College, Mr Simon Uttley, offered the Salesian Family some guidance for their journey into the future:


Set out slowly and together

Make plans and maps as you go

So that you can connect with your past.

Allow yourselves time and freedom to explore

The world is full of new possibilities.

Do not be afraid to disagree

Better to argue than have a sullen silence.

Take time to build bridges of friendship as you go

Rather than rush into anxious activity.

Leave time to study and reflect

So that you can build bridges of understanding.

Open up new pathways for ordinary spirituality

And let it spring up in life’s experiences

As water springs up in the desert.

Let home, school, playground and church

Be the building blocks of new bridges in Battersea

Opening up new reasons for living and hoping.

Let young people be your burning bush

As you search for the wisdom of God.

Let their needs and their gifts guide your hearts and minds.

Above all else, travel as friends

Listen to each other, learn from each other

Forgive one another and have fun!

Create a network of loving kindness here in Battersea

A network that builds strong bridges and wise boundaries.

And let this new beginning deepen your knowledge and wisdom and resilience as you follow the path of the Gospel into the unknown.


The 150 guests were delighted with a wonderful dance presentation from students from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton who interpreted the theme of building bridges with a performance titled ‘Safe and Sound’.


IMG 6552

The Easter edition of the Salesian Bulletin, ‘Don Bosco Today’ will reflect on the new Battersea Mission, and photographs from the weekend will shortly appear on the Salesianlink Flickr account.






Text – Martin Coyle SDB, David O’Malley SDB and Bob Gardner SDB


Photos – SalesianLink/LEGG, GARDNER and Cristiana Ferrauti

Sunday, 31 January 2016 14:00


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Wishing all the members of our Salesian Family a very happy, peaceful and spirit filled Feast Day. 


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