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Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:14


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As part of the FMA General Chapter, the Delegates had an audience with the Holy Father. Without doubt a wonderfully blessed experience for all, especially the British Delegates, Sr Connie (Provincial) and Sr Pat.

Thursday, 06 November 2014 15:08


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The Bi-Centenary EXPO arrived at St Mary's Cathedral, Sunday 26th October, after travelling from Glasgow.

Over 600 people attended the three Sunday Masses - one of which was presided over by the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle SDB - he also preached at the Masses. In the afternoon about 100 people came back to the Cathedral for the EXPO Essence - the play - 'Don Bosco - A Magic Saint'; the Exhibition - 'Vison of Life' and the concluding prayer service.

The whole group was very warmly welcomed by the Dean, Fr Dermott Donnelly and his Cathedral Team.

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Thursday, 30 October 2014 15:04

FMA General Council

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The following is a report from ANS:


Mother General, Sister Yvonne Reungoat with Sister Maria Helena Moreira, Councillor for Social Communications


Yesterday, 29 October, marked the end of the period of discernment for the 194 Chapter members of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians for the election of the new General Council. After Sister Yvonne Reungoat had been confirmed as Mother General, the following were elected:

  • Vicar General: Sister Clare Trowel (Campiglia Marittima, Italy - 1955), formerly Visiting Councilor;
  • Councillor for Formation: Sister Maria Nieves Reboso Padrón (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain - 1952), formerly Superior of the Mary Help of Christians Province based in Seville;
  • Councillor for Youth Ministry: Sister Maria Teresa Cocco (Nuoro, Italy - 1957), formerly Superior of the Holy Family Province of Lombardy;
  • Councillor for the Salesian Family: Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda (Puebla, Mexico - 1951), confirmed in her role;
  • Councillor for the Missions: Sr. Alaíde Deretti (Massaranduba, Brazil - 1950) confirmed in her role;
  • Councillor for Social Communication: Sister Maria Helena Moreira (Goiânia, Brazil - 1953), formerly Superior of the Province of Brazil-Belo Horizonte (BBH);
  • Economer General: Sister Vilma Heel (Cavallermaggiore, Italy - 1948), confirmed in office.

The following were elected as Visiting Councillors:

  • Sister Silvia Boullousa, (Montevideo, Uruguay - 1963), Visiting Councillor in the previous six years;
  • Sister Marija Pitch, (Mesto, Slovenia - 1958), Visiting Councillor in the previous six years;
  • Sister Lucy Rose Ozhukayil (Athirampuzha, India - 1952), Visiting Councillor in the previous six years;
  • Sister Chantal Mukase Ruzagiriza (Byahi-Goma, Dem. Rep. of Congo - 1967), formerly Superior of the East Africa Province;
  • Sister Phyllis Neves (Downey, United States - 1953), formerly Superior of the USA Province;
  • Sister Paula Battagliola (Manerbio, Italy - 1952), formerly Superior of the East Timor-Indonesia Province;
  • Sister Mary of the Assumption Sumiko Inoue (Nagasaki, Japan - 1965), formerly Provincial of Japan.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 11:04

Blessed Michael Rua

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Michael Rua was born on 9th June 1837, the last of nine children. He entered Don Bosco's Oratory in 1852. One day Don Bosco told him: "We two will go halves in everything".

He was among the first few with whom Don Bosco shared the idea of forming the 'Salesian Society'. For 36 years he was Don Bosco's closest collaborator in the development of the Congregation. He made his first profession in 1855, was the first Spiritual Director of the Society at the age of 22 years (1859), ordained priest in 1860, first Rector of the college at Mirabello at 26 years (1863-65), Vice Rector at Valdocco, manager of the "Letture Cattoliche" (Catholic Readings), involved in formation, director of the FMA (1875), companion of Don Bosco on his journeys, etc, etc. At the explicit request of Don Bosco, Pope Leo XIII designated him to succeed our Founder and confirmed him as Rector Major in 1888.

Nicknamed "The Living Rule" because of his austere fidelity, Don Rua was also known for his fatherliness and goodness. As the numbers of members and communities increased he sent Salesians all over the world, showing special care for the missionary expeditions.

In the long journeys which he undertook to visit the Salesian works in Europe and in the Middle East he was a constant source of comfort and encouragement, always referring to our Founder: "Don Bosco used to say... Don Bosco used to do it this way... Don Bosco wanted..."

When he died, on 6th April 1910 at the age of 73, the Society had grown from 773 to 4000 Salesians, from 57 to 345 communities, from 6 to 34 Provinces in 33 countries.

During the Beatification ceremony on 29th October 1972, Pope Paul VI declared "The Salesian Family had its origin in Don Bosco, its continuity in Don Rua… He made the example of Don Bosco into a school, his Rule into a spirit, his holiness into a model; he made a spring into a river."

His body is venerated in the crypt of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians and his memory is celebrated on 29th October.

Monday, 27 October 2014 14:19


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Over 400 members of the Salesian Family and friends came to St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow on Saturday (25th October) to celebrate the Bi-Centenary of their founder and the patron saint of young people, St John Bosco.

The Holy Mass was led by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, concelebrating with Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, ( a past-pupil of the Salesian Missionary College at Shrigley), Fr Martin Coyle SDB, Provincial and 18 priests, both local and farther afield.

Speaking to the Congregation, Fr Martin in his homily emphasised the unshakeable belief in the presence and providence of God that Don Bosco had; how Don Bosco believed in the goodness and potential of young people, especially those that society had ignored, or worse, despised; concluding Fr Martin both encouraged and challenged the Salesian Family to continue the legacy of Don Bosco's mission onto the future, with a special message to the young people gathered to be strong in their witness to the Gospel.

Among the Congregation were staff and students from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton - with their choir singing a beautiful rendition of 'Bread of Life' after Holy Communion.

Staff and pupils also attended from St Mungo's Academy, Glasgow.

Others in the Cathedral included Altar Servers from the Parishes of St Clare and St Benedict, Easterhouse; the welcome ministry was provided by staff and volunteers from Salesian Youth Ministry and Savio House, Bollington; the music ministry was led and animated by young adults from all around England and the organist from the Cathedral; refreshments were provided from the Salesian Sisters, beautifully served with the aid of friends and volunteers.

A big thanks was offered for support from Mgr Chris McIlroy and the staff of the Cathedral.

The Congregation was invited after the Mass to share refreshments in the Hall and to spend time looking at the Photographic Exhibition provided by Salesian Link on the theme - 'Vision of Life'

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 15:19


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Thornleigh Salesian College have just started their Mission Week. As part of the experience, each student has the opportunity to take part in the Bi-Centenary EXPO - 'Don Bosco - A Magic Saint', and the Photographic Exhibition, and so far it has gone down extremely well - both students and staff responding very positively to the whole experience.

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Monday evening, however, saw an invited audience at the College - Governors, Primary School Headteachers, Salesians from the Community, Senior Leadership Team and Staff from Thornleigh, members of 'Salesian Link',  'Jump' and young people (whose pictures were on show in the exhibition) and their families. After the viewing of the exhibition, and the stage performance from RISE of 'Don Bosco - A Magic Saint', refreshments provided by the College and Salesian Link were enjoyed in Thornleigh House. Over 70 people had a very pleasant evening.

The Bi-Centenary EXPO heads north at the end of the week to Glasgow, where a 'Thanksgiving Mass' Mass will be celebrated at St Andrew's Cathedral, at 1pm on Saturday 25th.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:16

Schools Council October 2014

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On Friday 9th October, pupils from Thornleigh Salesian College (Bolton), Savio Salesian College (Bootle) and St John Bosco Arts College (Croxteth) met at Savio House for a weekend of training about Trust, Respect and Communication. The young people shared their experiences of being on the school council in their schools and gave an insight to the issues that they have dealt with. They also had a chance to have a walk up White Nancy and into Bollington.



Tuesday, 13 October 2015 01:00


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ALESSANDRINAAlessandrina Maria da Costa was born on the 30th March 1904 at Balasar in Portugal. She was brought up in the faith by her mother, along with her sister Deolinda. Alessandrina stayed with the family until she turned seven, then was sent to Póvoa do Varzim to board with a carpenter's family, so she could attend the primary school that she would have missed out on at Balasar. After returning to Balasar she worked as a farmer, as a lively, affectionate and playful girl, much sought out by her friends.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:40

Michael in the Philippines

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There are several volunteers overseas at the moment with BOVA. A few weeks ago, we shared stories of Annie who is in Tanzania. 

This week we're looking further east at the Philippines where we have Michael Thompson. He has been over in the Philippines for about two months now.

Here is a little blog post about his activities:

It has been a little over a month now since I lifted off the tarmac at Heathrow Airport feeling a combination of excitement and trepidation for what was to come. In that time I have begun to begin to learn a new way of life and settle into a routine here in the Philippines.

My tasks here are twofold, put simply: I teach maths and I play the keyboard.



Planning my lessons... or playing on Sporcle?

Friday, 03 October 2014 14:25


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An excellent start to the Bi-Centenary EXPO was made this week in London - every year group of St John Bosco College, Wimbledon had the opportunity to be part of the experience. Reaction was very positive. Fr Saju from the Chaplaincy reported that "the students were glued to the performance of 'Don Bosco - A magic saint' - many of them could connect something of their own life with that of Don Bosco" The words 'stupendous, cracking performance, great show' was pretty typical of the reaction of the staff and students. The Rise Theatre Company won great applause from the whole College.The Photographic Exhibition was also well received with two of the photographs on display from the staff of the College.Well done "Team Bi-Centenary"


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