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Wednesday, 10 April 2019 01:04

Lent reflection - The parish is led to Passiontide

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In the penultimate week of Lent, the Rector Major considers the heart of the Salesian spirit, in the rich network of relationships we form in our lives, and Fr Graham Forristalle looks at holiness in a parish preparing for the holiest time of the year.


Each Lenten Friday evening in Cowley, the people of the parish gather in the church for 6pm. Altar servers have come to join us, and together we follow the Way of the Cross. In the fourteen stations the family of the parish meditate on Jesus who suffered and gave his life for us all. This family has members from Latvia, from Malawi, from Goa, East Timor and Poland: from Brittany and from all parts of Europe. We are praying in English: whether this is our first or second language we acclaim the one saviour, and the image and pattern of his sacrifice is our pattern of holiness. In one scripture during the Stations, we read about the paradox within Jesus’ sacrifice. “For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

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Sophie Astles continues our series of articles from Share the Light, a charity created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough with young people in Zambia.


One of our key objectives at Share the Light is to develop young people who are articulate, informed and personally engaged 'advocates' for the developing world. This dates back to the first trip from Salesian College Farnborough to Mazabuka in 2012, and since then, the advocate programme has been a central part of the work carried out by Share the Light. It ensures that close links are maintained between the charity, the community and the projects we support, and helps engender a sense of investment in the success of our work. Our aim is to work with those we support and tailor our projects by listening and responding to the community, in order to provide assistance where it is most needed. Our advocates programme helps us to strengthen the ties that make this possible.

Monday, 26 February 2018 14:52

Kevin retires after 19 years as Savio House cook

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At Savio House, the community and staff gathered to say thank you and farewell to Kevin Owen, who retired this week.


Kevin will be known to many across the Salesian family, as he has been a dedicated cook at Savio House for over 19 years. The community and staff came together to give thanks for Kevin’s long service.



As part of the parish’s celebration for our 125th anniversary of the consecration of Sacred Heart Church, we are holding a series of lectures in honour of a much loved priest of the community, Fr Pat McGrath Sdb. The opening lecture in January looked at the history of Christianity in Battersea from the first Christian settlement to the re-founding of the Catholic Mission at Battersea Park in 1860. The present Parish Team Leader, Gerry O’Shaughnessy and the local Anglican Vicar, Rev Simon Butler led that session

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 16:19

Rector Major receives a copy of our latest book!

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During this week's World Pastoral and Family Congress in Madrid, the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco,  Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, was presented with a copy of Michael Winstanley SDB's new book, Walking with Luke, by Fr Bob Gardner SDB, Director of Don Bosco Publications and Delegate for Youth Ministry. 



140 years ago this week, the first Salesian Sisters' missionary expedition set out from the port of Genoa, Italy. Here's how the Sisters marked the occasion in Genoa.


On November 14, 2017, the provincial community and the directors of the Province of “ Madonna del Buon Consiglio” of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) met before the ancient port of Genoa on a barge near the famous Aquarium to commemorate a historical date: November 14, 1877, the day that led the FMA beyond the borders of Europe, transposing the charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello to the Americas.



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.






Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:27

Weekend for young Brothers in formation

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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

Monday, 17 August 2015 14:13

Congratulations to Bro Ste Lloyd SDB

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On Saturday evening, the 15th August, Ste Lloyd make his first Profession of the Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity in the presence of the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle SDB. Supported by his parents, Margy and Gary, his niece and nephew, Alicia and Craig, family, friends and parishioners of his home Parish, St James' Bootle, the occasion was celebrated as part of the Province's Bi-centenary celebrations of the Birth of Don Bosco.

The Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians, Thornleigh Bolton was a fitting home for Ste's profession, and all the Province send him their prayers and good wishes as he starts his life as a professed Salesian of Don Bosco.

Also in attendance was Bishop John Arnold, the Bishop of Salford.


Saturday, 15 August 2015 11:53


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"Do you want to do a holy thing, a very holy thing, a most holy thing? Educate the young."


The history of our society can be traced to an obscure village in the north of Italy called The Becchi.

Our history began, we may say, when little John Bosco dreamed a very strange dream at the age of 9. Or we may date the origins of our society to a surprise encounter that brought him face to face with a frightened street urchin in a church sacristy on 8 December 1841. Or perhaps to the little band of 17 young men to whom Don Bosco first gave the title ‘Salesians’ on 26 January, 1854.

But these historical facts barely explain our international existence as a ‘family’ of nearly 402,500 members in the service of young people.

With a feeling of humble gratitude we believe that the Society of St. Francis de Sales came into being not as a merely human venture but by the initiative of God.
(source: Const. Art. 1)


Tuesday, 11 August 2015 10:20


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Congratulations to Jakub Ruszniak SDB, recently ordained to the Priesthood.

Jakub, formerly of the Polish Province of Pila, was joined by his mother, father, two brothers, family, friends and Salesians for this great occasion. Representing the British Province was the Provincial Fr Martin Coyle SDB. Jakub spent two years on practical training at the Salesian School, Chertsey between 2009-2011. Also at the gathering at Rumia, were Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB, two staff from the School and two Cooperators (Pat and Brian Barnes)

Jakub, aged 28 transferred to the British Province on the occasion of his Final Profession, September 2013. Between 2011 and 2015 he has been studying for the Priesthood at Ratisbonne, Jerusalem.

Our prayers and good wishes go to Jakub as he takes up his new post at Bootle.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015 03:55

DBYN: Routes to Europe

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Are you aged between 17-25?
Are you interested in human rights, refugees and intercultural learning?
Do you want to meet other like-minded Salesian volunteers from across Europe?
Are you free 19th – 26th July 2015?
Fancy a trip to Austria?


If you answered YES to any of the above, you should get in touch with SYM UK and take part in Don Bosco Youth Net's Step 1 project:

'Routes to Europe'



Routes to Europe aims to develop participants' skills with regards to intercultural communication, understanding and awareness. The course has a specific focus on refugees, so an interest in this topic would be advantageous.
You will explore different aspects of intercultural learning in a fun way. You'll play informative games, take on team challenges, look at how to develop campaigns, have that opportunity to volunteer in a refugee centre, and experience moments of Salesian reflection.
The training course takes place at Salesianum Vienna - a Salesian centre right in the centre of Vienna. As well as taking part in training activities, you will also have the chance to explore Vienna and spend time with your new friends from Salesian organisations all over Europe.
We are looking for participants who are active volunteers in youth work organisations. In addition to having a great week in Austria, we want you to be able to use your skills on your return in your own organisation and with Salesian Youth Ministry UK.
If you want to be a participant on this fantastic project, contact Sue McDonald at


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