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Monday, 07 September 2015 13:06

LOYAL ADDRESS TO HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II

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Your Majesty,

It is an honour and a pleasure to express the great loyalty and gratitude felt by the Catholic community of England and Wales for the outstanding and unstinting service you give to our nation and to people throughout the world.

We express these sentiments with particular warmth and admiration as you celebrate the occasion of surpassing the length of reign of any other British Monarch.

Along with Catholics across the world. and especially in the Commonwealth, we join our prayers of thanksgiving to those of other Christians for the many blessings of your reign.

Your vocation as our Queen has been unstinting over these years. The burden of high office fell upon your shoulders at a young age, and yet through the many and varied circumstances of your Reign, you have held integrity of service as a high standard and as an exemplar for other heads of state and leaders of nations. We give thanks too for the constant support that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has shown you in your time as our Queen; his role as Prince Consort being a source of strength and stay.

We thank you too, for your steadfast insistence on the great importance of our Christian faith, given in both word and example, alongside your appreciation of the contribution made by other religions in our rich and diverse society today. Our hope is that, enriched by the presence of many beliefs and cultures, our country will always maintain respect for our Christian heritage and the sure foundations that it provides for a flourishing of true human fulfilment. The Gospel of Jesus which we seek to serve, is a challenge to our society to think more deeply about the sanctity of life, the constant need for forgiveness and reconciliation, and the faithfulness required in love and the self-sacrifice which brings true satisfaction.

Your Majesty, it is my privilege to assure you of our prayers for you, now and in the future and, most especially, on the day when you become our longest reigning Monarch. All the Catholic communities in England and Wales have been asked to offer special prayers for you and your family on this most special of days.

May Almighty God bless your Majesty, preserve you in health of mind and body, and grant you every grace and blessing, now and in the years to come.

+ Vincent Cardinal Nichols

President

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 11:17

BLESSED MARIA TRONCATTI (1883-1969)

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Maria Troncatti was born in Cortegno Golgi (Brescia) on February 16, 1883. She grew up happy and hardworking in her numerous family, dividing her time between the farm and caring for her little brothers and sisters, in the warm and loving atmosphere created by her exemplary parents. She regularly attended catechism in her parish, where she developed a deep Christian spirit and opened her heart to the values of a religious vocation.

First profession at Nizza Monferrato

In obedience to her parish priest, however, she waited till she reached adulthood before asking to be admitted to the Institute of the Salesian Sisters. She made her first profession in 1908 at Nizza Monferrato.

During the First World War (1915-18) Sr. Maria took a course in health care in Varazze and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the military hospital. This experience was to prove very valuable in the course of her long missionary life in the Amazon forests of Ecuador.

Missionary in Ecuador

She left for Ecuador in 1922 and was sent to work among the Shuar people where, together with two other Sisters, she began the difficult work of evangelisation. They faced dangers of every kind, including those caused by the beasts of the forest and by fast flowing rivers that had to be waded through or crossed on fragile "bridges" made from creepers or on the shoulders of the Indians.

Nurse, surgeon, dentist...

Macas, Sevillia Don Bosco, Sucúa are some of the "miracles" of Sr. Maria Troncatti's work that still flourish. She was nurse, surgeon, orthopaedist, dentist, anaesthetist... But, above all, she was catechist and evangeliser, rich in the wonderful resources of her faith, patience and fraternal love.

Promotion of Shuar women

Her work for the promotion of the Shuar woman bore fruit in hundreds of new Christian families formed, for the first time, on a free personal choice on the part of the young couple.

Sr. Maria died in a tragic air crash at Sucúa on August 25, 1969. Her remains lie at Macas, in the Province of Morona (Ecuador).

Proclaimed Blessed on the 24 November 2012

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.

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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;

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"Wow!

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'!
Goodnight"

And then the fireworks began......

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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.

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Saturday, 15 August 2015 11:53

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON BOSCO!!

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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

ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

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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

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

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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

SCHOOL PREPARING TO LEAVE ITS SITE....

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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

BIG BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL INFORMATION

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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 bicentenary-operations@salesians.org.uk 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.

 

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[ 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. 

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[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.”

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