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Thursday, 20 November 2014 12:23

Salesian Youth Ministry Weekend

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As is traditional for Youth Ministry, on the first weekend of November, volunteers of Youth Ministry were invited to gather together at Savio House, to celebrate and evaluate the past year in Youth Ministry by Sue McDonald.


YAT (Youth Advisory Team), BOVA/BAT (Bosco Volunteer Action/BOVA Animation Team), DBYN (Don Bosco Youth Net), Phoenix, Faith in Action, Greenbelt and the Easter retreat were all represented at the recent meeting.

There have been a few reshuffles in teams over the past few months with people moving over to other teams or working on other projects outside of Youth Ministry, however all teams were well represented and there was a great enthusiasm amongst the volunteers.

All the teams were asked to report on the challenges that they have faced and the tasks that they are looking forward to in the next 12 months.

Are you interested in helping to shape the future of Don Bosco Youth-Net in terms of Human Rights Education (HRE)? Join us in Strasbourg!DBYNStrasbourg2015

A Preventive Approach in Human Rights Education is a study session which DBYN is organising at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg in February, 2015. The sessions will aim to integrate the education system of Human Rights Education into the systems used across Don Bosco Youth-Net activities. Building on work which has been primarily focussed on supporting current practices, the sessions will look to see how DBYN's educational policies, predominantly 'Few Words and a Lot of Action', can be modified to integrate HRE more fully.

The seminar will take an evaluative approach with regards to the level of integration of HRE in the past, with a view to using this foundation to help direct our educational policy's future development.

This seminar, which will take place during the Bi-Centennial year of Don Bosco's birth, will give participants the unique and exciting opportunity to help shape the basis of Don Bosco Youth-Net and its activities for years to come.

If you are between 18-30, have a keen interest in HRE, have experience of Salesian volunteering and wish to find out more, please contact Sue: sue@salesianyouthministry.org.uk

- Please note that places will be awarded at the conclusion of a short application process. The deadline for applications is the 7th December, 2014.

Friday, 14 November 2014 12:23

Chaplaincy Meeting

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After all of the excitement of the Youth Ministry meeting, things were calmer for the Chaplaincy meeting on Sunday 9th and Monday 10th at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine's in London.

Sue McDonald invited chaplains from Salesian schools as well as other chaplains that have Salesian connections. Sunday evening was a relaxed evening with prayer and introductions for the 11 Chaplains.


On Monday, a few of the Chaplains went over to see the Poppy exhibition at the Tower of London before the first session with James Trewby. James had been invited to talk about Social Justice Issues.



Beginning with prayer, James invited the chaplains to read the newspaper and find something in there that spoke out to them, rip it out and then place it on the table in the middle of the room. After sharing them with one another, they brought the various issues that had been raised to prayer.

After prayer, the Chaplains explored the idea that communities and overseas gap year volunteers are being exploited because of the oversubscription of gap year volunteers. They then looked at how to engage pupils and staff at their schools with the variety of social justice issues.

After the input, the chaplains came together to discuss how they would be able to implement the issues from the morning. The group looked at Families and how to keep them involved after young people leave Primary School. They also looked at and discussed how to change people's mentality of awareness and fundraising.

The groups came back together and spoke about their ideas of how they might be able to implement these ideas in their schools and talked about the resources that they could use and share with each other.

Sue informed the group about the many different activities that the young people from all of the schools could take part in over the next 12 months - Flame at Wembley in March; Youth Easter and the Young Adults Easter retreat at Savio House; Faith in Action at Savio House and Westminster; Phoenix Summer camps and the various Bi-Centenary celebrations.


Sue also alerted the Chaplains to the fact that the Youth Ministry Office are available to give input on Spirituality to Staff on inset days and offered to run workshops at Mission weeks with volunteers.

To end the meeting, Fr Saju led the chaplains in Mass before everyone travelled back home after (which for some was) a very busy weekend.

Wednesday, 04 June 2014 15:35

DBYN - All Alien

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DBYN All Alien web

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 16:44

Faith in Action Week

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We're trying something new over the summer: Faith in Action Week.

Logo jpeg

The plan is to gather up to twenty 16-year olds (2 per school) for a five day experience of faith in action, including workshops from CAFOD, the Columban Lay Missionaries and Pax Christi, prayer and reflection, visits to social justice projects, leadership skills – and of course, a lot of fun!

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 01:00

St John Bosco College Retreat

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St. John Bosco College which is currently decanted to Wimbledon promotes the needs of the girls in Y9/10 by offering a short retreat at Worth Abbey. The girls join in the Benedictine Monks rhythm of prayer and have a programme of activity and reflection to help them deepened their understanding about themselves on every level.
The photos show what a wonderful experience this was for all and how revitalised all felt even after such a short spiritual top up!
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:21

A Month in Makuyu, Kenya

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'Working with the young and the poor is the way we follow Jesus...'

Myself and Iain have just returned from a month volunteering abroad with VIDES UK in Kenya. We have been blessed with the opportunity of taking a year of our lives to deepen our spirituality and to take time with God and each other, discerning where our lives might lead us next. As we planned this year, we both shared the ideas we had for how we might spend our time. One longing I had was to return to Africa, and for Iain to experience Africa for himself. We left for Kenya at the end of February.

Kenya 2014 259Small

We were placed in a community north of Nairobi called Makuyu. When we arrived, we were surprised at the size of the project there. Makuyu is a very rural village, with a huge Salesian project located at its heart. The Salesian compound is run by both Salesian Priests and Salesian Sisters. They have a parish church, two technical colleges where young people can learn a trade, a primary school, a secondary school, a children’s home, two hostels for young people and a dispensary. There is also a formation house for young women who are aspirants or postulants. It really was like staying in a Salesian village, with local children, young people and adults bringing the village alive!

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 09:42

Turin Pilgrimage Meeting

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Getting people to go...Check

Flights booked...Check

Plan of what we're doing...Not quite!!!

On the 2nd May, volunteers from across Salesian Youth Ministry came together to meet and organise their pilgrimage activities in Turin, for August 2014.

Things began with a very exciting Race-Night - some of us took it rather seriously and it was certainly very competitive. It was a good way to get to know new faces or renew old acquaintances.

Things calmed down the next morning with another competition in the form of a quiz. We were quizzed on our knowledge of the Salesians; whether a picture was taken in Valdocco or Colle Don Bosco; how well we knew Salesian quotes and how much of the song, "Friend of the Young" we knew. Judging by some of the answers, none of us will be appearing on 'Mastermind' any time soon.


After we had rested our heads, we split off into groups to decide on the various practicalities of the pilgrimage. Groups looked into what themes the prayers would follow and what activities we might take part in outside of the scheduled events.

While Salesian Link (the media team) were finishing off their discussions and planning, the rest of the group enjoyed a treasure hunt around Bollington. Thankfully the weather was good and even involved a trip to the 'Poachers'.

People agreed that it was a brilliant weekend that was enjoyed by all and it has certainly set a great atmosphere for the pilgrimage group to carry forward to Turin.

Thursday, 24 April 2014 13:00

Young Adults Easter Retreat 2014

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What a weekend! It was that good; I’ve had four days to recover!

The Easter Retreat for Young Adults took place at Savio House, and as you’d expect and brought along a wide range of people. The services were led by Fr Bob Gardner, fresh from Rome and had just stopped rambling long enough for us to get through the retreat.


Thursday followed the story of the Passover, with a little less wine than in previous years but still with the horrible horseradish on hard bread.  And we also had to pretend that Sue and Bob were Mum and Dad.

After we had a bit of time to recover from the shock, we moved to Mass where we had the washing of the feet… Well hands. Bob said that there were too many photos last year of him washing feet, so he got people to wash each other’s hands instead.

After the service, there was a lovely procession round the front of the house, which I tried to take pictures of, but it was too dark and I didn’t want to ruin it with the flash. The procession ended in the Don Bosco room where there was time for adoration.

In the morning, groups prepared for the Good Friday services. We had one group that built a cross out of sticks from around the grounds of Savio for the Veneration of the Cross. We had one group that prepared a presentation for the Stations of the Cross. We had another group preparing another presentation for the intercessions that would be part of the afternoon service.  And finally one group prepared a drama for the Journey of the Passion.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:34

DBYN Seminar: Oratory as the school of life

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Good Morning - Breath of God"If I could fall into the sky, do you think time would pass me by (not really no!). 'Cause you know I'd fly 2986 miles, so I could just see Rome... last week."

After an eventful (or non-eventful depending on how you look at it) journey I arrived at the Istitutio Salesiano Sacro Curore, Rome at 11:30pm welcomed by some familiar faces, some new faces and a can of Italian beer, very nice!

The aim of the seminar was to look at how our respective organisations can assist the Europe 20:20 target of reducing the percentage of early school leaving to 10% by 2020.

There was a focus on how the "oratory model" has had a long tradition of bringing youth at risk (back) into the educational system and as also identified ways that non-formal youth work can contribute in reducing youth at risk dropping out of school, or facilitating them to re-enter.

We presented the projects (including future project ideas) that our organisations offer to young people and which window of the oratory model the projects fitted in to. We then grouped together with other countries (UK, Austria and Poland became one group) to look at our commonalities and our thoughts about what young people need to help them stay in education.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:30

Youth Ministry Weekend - 7th - 9th March

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Last week (before I went to Rome!) was our second gathering of youth ministry teams of the academic year. We were 24 volunteers belonging to seven different projects attached to youth ministry office. This time Fr Martin Coyle was unable to make the meeting (some excuse called the General Chapter) and his presence among the young volunteers was greatly missed.

We were joined for the weekend by Angel Gudina, a Salesian lay animator from Spain and a member of Don Bosco Youth Net. He spoke to us about all the opportunities there were for young volunteers to teach English over the summer in a variety of Salesian Camps around Spain.

After this we had a lesson from Chris Knowles on how to use our new 'Pogoplug'. This technology set up in the Media Office will allow us to share our work with one another. It was a difficult task keep everyone in order while trying to search for Wifi at Savio House!

The rest of the weekend went more smoothly as people moved into their own project/task groups to work. There is a new camp being piloted this year for age 16+ called "Faith in Action" so we look forward to that in August. Easter retreat, Phoenix, Greenbelt, DBYN, Youth Advisory team and Bova were all represented and at the end of the day there was the satisfaction of preparation taking shape into some great events.

The evening saw us as usual getting together for a time of friendship and fun, always punctuated by the Belgium folk dance which seems to have become our signature tune. We are very good at it though it has to be said!

I just end with a big thank you to all those involved in Salesian Youth Ministry I know that it takes up so much more than these few weekends we spend together. I always look forward to the meetings and of course the events we have planned for the young people.

There are so many opportunities in YM both here and in Europe if you are interested to know more or would like to donate money for our camps please email sue@salesianyouthministry.org.uk

Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:38

Flame 2

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In 2012, CYMfed held an event at Wembley Arena. It was such a huge success, that they're doing it again!

On Saturday 7th March 2015, young Catholics from all over the UK and beyond will descend on Wembley arena for another day full of prayer, reflection and fun.

Salesian Youth Ministry have tickets to sell to you!

So if you want great seats then download the booking form here.

But be quick!

These seats won't be there forever.

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