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Friday, 25 January 2019 15:58

Pope inspires young people at World Youth Day 2019

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Pope Francis arrived in Panama and delivered an inspiring speech at the opening ceremony to a huge international audience of young pilgrims, which included our own small group from Britain. Photo: Liam Parr


His Holiness said "Peter and the Church are walking with you", and said the global event shows that young people can meet each other regradless of their differences.


"You, dear friends, have made many sacrifices to be able to meet one another and in this way you have become true teachers and builders of the culture of encounter. By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity, you discredit and defuse the kind of talk that is intent on sowing division, on excluding or rejecting those who are not 'like us' ... On the other hand, we know that the father of lies prefers people who are divided and quarrelling to people who have learned to work together."


Read the full text


After 33 years of service to the Province and to all us, working on finance and related matters in the Provincial Office, Paulene Whyte will retire from her post of Finance Manager at the end of January, with Wednesday January 30th as her last day in the office.

Friday, 25 January 2019 10:37

RE Conference for Salesian schools in the South

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Last week, students from Salesian School Chertsey and Salesian College Farnborough joined their peers at St John Bosco College (SJBC) Battersea to take part in a Religious Education conference led by theologian Dr Peter Vardy. The conference was a bespoke programme designed to supplement and reinforce what they had learnt in RE for their GCSEs.

Friday, 25 January 2019 03:54

Don Bosco Novena - Day 4

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Day Four - Awakening a Family Likeness


Don Bosco emphasised the family spirit in his communities.

Lord you remind us in the scriptures that everyone moved by the Spirit is a son or a daughter of God. So it is as if we are recognising a family likeness in others, a likeness that makes each person a sacrament: an outward sign of your inner presence.

Lord, help us to recognise that every gathering of two or three people is potentially a family reunion when viewed through the eyes of love, of justice.


Hail Mary ...
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

Download the Novena as a pdf

This novena is based on the book A Salesian Way of Life by David O'Malley SDB, available from Don Bosco Publications


Photo: Don Bosco Youth-Net meeting at Savio House 



Br Lukasc Wojcik SDB writes about the Friday Masses at Savio Salesian College Bootle

In Savio Salesian College we have already managed to forget about the Christmas break. The Chaplaincy team is trying to find a way through planning the new trips, running the after schools clubs, and preparing for St. John Bosco’s Feast, which hopefully will be an absolutely great celebration. Apart from all of that, a lot is still going on and on we want to share with you our great experience.

Every Friday, during lunch break, we meet in our school Chapel for Holy Mass. In the beginning of the break students gather to be with God and meet one another. It is remarkable when among all the school noises one can experience silent prayer or communal singing, staff together with the pupils.

Thursday, 24 January 2019 12:31

Don Bosco Novena - Day 3

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Day Three - Hospitality


For Don Bosco, every Salesian house was a place of hospitality and welcome.


Lord, help us to make every encounter a sacred space, where people can feel safe, relax and be present just as they are.


Lord, you said Whenever you welcome one of these little ones, you welcome me. So, we pray that hospitality for us may become an act of faith in the unique spirit at the heart of each individual.


Hail Mary ...
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.


Download the Novena as a pdf


This novena is based on the book A Salesian Way of Life by David O'Malley SDB, available from Don Bosco Publications 


Photo: Providing hospitality to the young at Savio House

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 16:29

Feast of St Francis de Sales, Patron of Salesians

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At his ordination, Don Bosco resolved to be guided by the "charity and sweetness of St Francis de Sales". When he founded our congregation, he chose this gentle saint as its patron, naming it the Society of St Francis de Sales -  the Salesians. We celebrate his feast on 24th January.

Francis followed the early church in believing that we are all called to holiness and sanctity, whatever our role or station in life. He offered spiritual direction to lay men and women to guide them in their everyday lives, and many of his writings also had this aim. This idea of a "universal call to holiness" was important in the teachings of the Church following the Second Vatican Council.

Working in a Calvinist area during the Reformation, Francis won many people back to the Church by gentle persuasion and patience, saying that "you catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than a barrel full of vinegar." Don Bosco's approach in respecting and befriending the young people he wanted to help was rooted in this concept.

Francis recognised that gentleness must come from within: "Gentleness towards ourselves makes us moderate in our emotions and feelings toward ourselves; regulate all violent, impetuous and passionate thoughts. Gentleness must permeate our whole being, interior and exterior." He knew that being too hard on ourselves leads to impatience and harshness to others, and gave us some excellent advice that highly relevant to our driven, modern lives:


"Have patience with all things - but first with yourself".


St Francis de Sales: August 21, 1567 - December 28, 1622




Our small group of Salesian World Youth Day pilgrims from Britain were delighted to present when Mother Yvonne Reungoat FMA, Superior General of the Salesian Sisters, officially opened the new relic shrine and pilgrim centre in honour of Blessed Mary Romero Meneses in Panama City this week.


The new centre, housed in the Church of Mary Help of Christians at the city’s Don Bosco Institute, will serve the faithful of Panama and the surrounding countries.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 02:08

Novena to Don Bosco - Day 2

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Day Two - The Call to Belong


Don Bosco calls us into a wider community and into a network of care for others.

Everyone we meet is both our pupil and our teacher, whatever their age or status.

Ours is a vocation to interdependence; to giving and receiving in a way that challenges the individualism of many cultures.

Lord, may we never lose touch with the still small voice of the your Spirit, and be aware of our need of others.


Hail Mary ...
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.


Download the Novena as a pdf


This novena is based on the book A Salesian Way of Life by David O'Malley SDB, available from Don Bosco Publications 


Photo: Celebration of 150th anniversary of Sacred Heart church, Battersea


Monday, 21 January 2019 16:38

Novena to Don Bosco - Day 1

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The Novena to our founder, St John Bosco, traditionally begins on 22nd January, and is prayed on the nine days leading to his feast on 31st January. 


Please join us in prayer.


Day 1:  Signs and Bearers of God's Love


Lord, may we be so aware of our own brokenness that it may give us the compassion to care for others, as Don Bosco did.

May we be driven by the call for justice through this inner spirit to make sacrifices for young people at risk.

May we be called by compassion to live a healing gentleness among young people, our family and our friends.

Let the spirit of justice and compassion move us so that, in our lives, we may become signs and bearers of your love.


Hail Mary ...

St John Bosco, pray for us.


Download the Novena as a pdf


This novena is based on the book A Salesian Way of Life by David O'Malley SDB, available from Don Bosco Publications


Photo: Phoenix Summer Camps 2017


Monday, 21 January 2019 15:40

Feast of Blessed Laura Vicuna

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On 22nd January, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Laura Vicuña, who is the patron of abuse victims. She was born in Chile in 1891, and died on 22nd January, 1904. After her father died, Laura's mother took her to Argentina, where she was educated by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. She felt a call to religious life from an early age, dedicating herself to God while she was still too young to follow her vocation to join the Salesian Sisters. 




On Wednesday January 16th, five students from Salesian Sixth Form College Chertsey attended the second CAFOD Youth Leadership Training Day hosted this time by St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Guildford. A selection of Year 12 and Year 13 students represented Chertsey at this event which is popular with a number of schools and colleges from southern dioceses including Salesian College Farnborough who are also regular attendees.

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