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After twenty four hours of rain the prospects for the 'outdoor' celebrations for the Province didn't look too bright, on Saturday (15th August). The thought of chairs disappearing into the lawns of Thornleigh and the fireworks being soaked through caused a sleepless night for the Provincial and the Bi-Centenary Team....

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...But on the day itself things came good and over 290 people (young and old) piled into the grounds of the Provincial House, Thornleigh and the School Hall and grounds of Thornleigh Salesian College. The Youth Ministry Team welcomed all the visitors showing them to the refreshments awaiting them, and the games and outdoor activities.


The Provincial Chapel of Mary Help of Christians was the scene for the celebration of Holy Mass, led by Fr Martin Coyle SDB, the Provincial, with the local Bishop of Salford in attendance, Bishop John Arnold. People were delighted also to witness the First Profession of Bro Ste Lloyd SDB (more about that below). The Chapel was spotless, the Readers in good form and the Musicians heavenly!!

After the Mass, the whole group trooped across to the School Hall for the performance of a specially commissioned Drama piece called 'Don Bosco - A magic Saint!' The piece has been travelling up and down the UK to schools, Churches, Halls and Cathedrals - but for many this was the first time they had had the opportunity to see it. (The tour continues, heading northwards to Lancaster and Middlesborough, continuing into the New Year).

As people chatted about the drama they had seen, they were expertly led by the Youth Team down to the food - a hog roast (plus a veggie version, obviously), salads, potatoes, pasta, wine and soft drinks. Sitting under the twinkling lights of the canopy people relaxed and chatted about their experiences of being 'Salesian'.

And on to the Grand Finale - amidst the smoke and the lights Don Bosco himself appeared to give his message to us all;



200 years. Who could have imagined it? (And I'm still looking quite good!)
My dream and my work began as a small flicker of hope, a beam of light, a spark of fire ....
And now we have the great Salesian Family all over the world;
truly amazing and something indeed to celebrate.
200 years ago the young people on the streets of Turin needed me,
They needed my help, teaching and guidance
They needed my care, concern and love
The little I could do, with the little I had, made a real difference to each of them.
My little mustard seed was enough to allow them to grow and to develop into the young people God had created them to be, with all their amazing gifts and talents and incredible potential.
Yes, I saw mustard seeds grow all around me, every day ..... And it was all God's work.
Today the young people on the streets of Great Britain still need the same.
They need the same help and guidance, care and love ....
They need you!
They need you the Salesian Family, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
They need you to be with them, to teach them, to guide them, to let them know that they are loved.
They need you to live the Salesian Charism .... today!
Thank you for celebrating this event here at Thornleigh. (I've certainly enjoyed it).
Live my dream, be my Salesian family in Britain today:
                  'Like Don Bosco, with the young, for the young'!

And then the fireworks began......


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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Thursday, 06 August 2015 10:12


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Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured; his clothes became dazzingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus: 'Rabbi', he said 'it is wonderful for us to be here; so let's make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah'. He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, 'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him'. Then suddenly when they looked round, they saw no one with them anymore but only Jesus.

As they came down from the mountain he warned them not to tell any one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean. (Mark 9:2-10)

Saturday, 18 July 2015 17:00


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After close to 100 years of education on this site, nearly 50 years of which has been Catholic education within the Archdiocese of Southwark, the Governors, staff and students of St John Bosco College, are preparing to bid farewell and embark on their next chapter at Parkham Street, Battersea,at the end of September. Our guest of honour, Bishop Hendricks, was the Principal Celebrant and is pictured (above) with, to his left, our newly appointed Head Boy and Head Girl and (to his right) Mrs Jane Hargrave JP, Chair of Governors, Fr Martin Coyle SDB, Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Dr Anne Bamford, Director of Education for the Archdiocese and the Head Teacher, Mr Simon Uttley.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 15:22


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We are getting ever closer to our Bi-Centenary event, The Big Birthday Festival on 15th August.

This event will celebrate the 'Province on Mission' and is aimed at those who share or support our mission across the Provicne, including members of the Salesian Family. We will come together from all our local communities and areas of mission to celebrate Don Bosco's Birthday through our Liturgy, a presentation of Don Bosco - 'A Magic Saint!', a celebration meal outdoors, and a firework finale. This event will be a great opportunity to share time together, to celebrate who we are and to share this special moment with those with whom we minister. There will be the opportunity in our Liturgy to commit ourselves once again to the Salesian mission as we look to the future with hope.

If you would like to join a group of attendees, please make your interest know to your local Salesian Family contact, i.e. Rectors, Headteachers, Project Leaders, Co-Operators, who will be happy to add your name to their lists.

If you know of people that also may want to attend then please share this with them.

If you are not in contact with an organised group you are very welcome to attend and can request a place by emailing ASAP and no later than 15th July 2015.

Requests for places MUST be made in advance and only a limited number are available which must be allocated to reflect the diversity of all groups in the Province.

No places that have not been booked in advance will be available on the day. 


If you wish to attend, then please act fast to avoid disappointment. 


This North Liverpool school has officially opened its multi-million pound new home.



[ L to R - Cllr Nick Small, MP Stephen Twigg, pupil Megan, Headteacher Anne Pontifex,

Head girl Antonia, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, pupil Lauryn and Chair of Governors John Gibbons]


On Wednesday 3 July, St John Bosco Arts College welcomed Sr Connie Cameron FMA (Provincial), Fr Martin Coyle SDB (Provincial), Mayor Joe Anderson, MP Stephen Twigg, esteemed guests, and members from various Salesian communities to the official opening of its £18 million new school building.

Specialising in visual and performing arts, St John Bosco is one of 12 new secondary, primary, and special schools commissioned by Liverpool City Council under a £170 million city deal negotiated with the government.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson says: “I promised to deliver twelve new schools across the city when I became Mayor back in 2012, so I’m delighted we’ve arrived at another important milestone on this journey with the completion of the new St. John Bosco School.

“It’s important to me as Mayor - and to the city more generally - that we offer each child the best possible start in life by giving them with the best possible education. I know that pupils, staff and parents are absolutely delighted with the finished product. It will ensure generations of local children receive a top class education in magnificent new surroundings.”

The building has received local and national acclaim through a number of awards, including the BDP George Grenfell Baines (GGB) Award and was shortlisted in this year’s RIBA North West Awards. 


[L to R- Fr Martin Coyle SDB, Headteacher Anne Pontifex, Sr Connie Cameron FMA, MP Stephen Twigg]


The school building was designed by architect BDP and was built by contractor Vinci Construction. The school is based around a central heart space and includes two double height dance studios, drama studios, a fitness suite, as well as 3D immersive learning environments and super-sized science laboratories.

Local MP Stephen Twigg, one of the guests in attendance, says: “I’ve visited St John Bosco Arts College on numerous occasions and every time I come back I’m still impressed by the new building.

The school is a credit to the city and Liverpool City Council’s investment and vision for education in this region.

Having met with pupils, staff and other members from the community today, it’s clear to see everyone is delighted with the new facilities and is excited for the future.”

Headteacher Anne Pontifex, added: “Our brilliant new £18 million school building is a wonderful environment for pupils and staff to thrive in. I’m incredibly proud of our building and the difference it has made to our whole school community.”

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


Monday, 18 May 2015 12:11

BOVA Training Weekend

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Last Saturday (8th May) Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) welcomed two new volunteers to training in preparation for volunteering overseas with the Salesians. The training day was held in the Parish Centre at Sacred Heart, Battersea; a slight change of scene from our usual residential weekend at Savio House, but this gave us an opportunity to have a walk around Battersea and see the construction of the new school and community house, whilst giving our volunteers a chance to learn about the history of the Salesians in Battersea.


The day included input from Anita, Martin, and Venus, a returned volunteers who spent a year volunteering in Campo Grande, Brazil.

We ended our training with the vigil mass at the parish and a beautiful gospel that was very fitting for a training event for volunteers in preparation. The phrase that particularly rang true for me and my experience of working with our Salesian volunteers was 'It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain'. Most of our volunteers do go on to have fruitful learning experiences that come from serving the young and the poor in a new cultural context. Volunteers do bring these experiences back home and go on to use them to inform the next steps in their own journeys, whether personally, professionally or spiritually, and with our support throughout.

BOVA are always looking for new volunteers to come and have an experience of service and learning in a Salesian community overseas. We regularly send volunteers to India, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Cambodia, The Philippines, Mongolia, Bolivia and Brazil; and are continually seeking to meet the needs of communities whilst supporting our volunteers through reflective learning.


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