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Friday, 07 April 2017 16:58

Farnborough students brave the Dragons' den!

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A team of sixth formers from Salesian College Farnborough travelled to Basingstoke on 30th March 2017 to take part in a “Dragons’ Den” style competition organised by Caritas and the Schools Office in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

All Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools in the Diocese were invited to design a project which would help the local community by putting into practice the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Three primary schools and three secondary schools prepared bids and presented them to the ‘Dragons’, who were in fact very supportive and un-scary, in the modern church hall of St Bede’s parish in Basingstoke.

STJBArts Pupils during Harry Potter Book Night


St John Bosco Arts College is celebrating after being shortlisted for the prestigious Times Education Supplement (TES) Schools Awards 2017.

Announced on Friday 7 April, the all-girls Catholic secondary school in Croxteth, Liverpool, is in the running for the ‘English teacher or team of the year’ award.

Now in its ninth year, the TES Schools Awards celebrate the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation shown by teachers and support staff across the UK.

The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London on Friday 23 June 2017.

For our Lenten reflections this year, in partnership with our Mission Office, we have taken the theme for Salesian Mission Day 2017. We will be returning to the roots of the Salesian missionary vocation by learning more about our missionary presence with the indigenous peoples of America. This week, we consider the Salesian presence in Latin America - past, present and future, see what life is like for the Chinanteco people of Mexico, and look at the evangelising role of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


What inflamed the missionary zeal of Don Bosco was the knowledge that many souls risked dying without baptism and be eternally lost. The purpose of the mission, according to theology then, was not to preach the Kingdom or implant the Church, but to go to save souls.

The stories of missionary adventures filled pages and pages of the Salesian Bulletin, causing readers to think that a large number of religious were dedicated to this task. But the reality was different: the Salesian work in Latin America was essentially urban. Even with large waves of migrants, in the late nineteenth century, the demographic situation of the continent was not substantially changed, the percentage of indigenous people was still very high, especially in the Andes, Central America and Mexico, but the Salesians did not work with them. The objects of their efforts were “primitive” groups, which were, statistically, a very low percentage in the world of indigenous Americans. 

Friday, 31 March 2017 16:07

Passion play at Savio Salesian College Bootle

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Savio Salesian College Bootle, has been very busy preparing to celebrate the sacred mysteries of Easter.


The Bosco Group have spent the past forty days selling Easter Bunnies to raise money for St. Josephs Hospice Thornton. St. Josephs is very dear to Savio, and the college has raised over £5000 to support its mission in the last nine years.


Year 9 pupils have been working hard to write, rehearse and perform their very own Passion Play. The production is a highly evocative and moving piece, which traces the last week in Christ's life. It premiered at the school's Easter Liturgies, and students also prayed the Stations of the Cross together with staff.


To compliment the staff weekly prayer group 'together We Stand on Holy Ground', staff have met each day during the last week of term to reflect on the passion narratives.


Mr Bennett is leading a weekend Easter retreat and revision weekend for Year 11 pupils to Dolly Hall mid-Wales over the first weekend of the Easter break.


Easter school will take place over the Easter holidays with revision session on offer each day.


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Friday, 31 March 2017 15:13

Signposts - a weekend to explore your future

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On April 22nd - 23rd, Savio House in Bollington, Cheshire will be hosting the next Signposts weekend for young adults who would like some strategies for making good choices in life.


The weekend is open to 18-35 year olds who are seeking direction in life or facing a time of change, and the April event is one of three the Signposts team offers each year.


The one-off resdiential weekend offers a solid groundwork for good decision-making, where young adults are able to explore their personal decision-making process in depth. The weekend takes participants through a series of thinking modes that move towards identifying meaning and purpose in life. It also provides a toolkit for choice based on sound psychology and some insights from the eastern and western spiritual traditions.


The weekend costs £40, and concessions are available. If you would be interested in booking for April weekend, you can download a booking form at the Signposts website.


If you'd like to find out about this or  future weekends, hear more about the  programme, or if you would like to arrange an introductory workshop for your young adult group, please contact Anita Motha on 0207 139 8353 or email development@signposts.uk.net


Read more about Signposts


Download a booking form at the Signposts website


Friday, 31 March 2017 14:23

St Dominic Savio, born 175 years ago today!

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Today the Salesian Family celebrates the 175th birthday of St Dominic Savio, born on 2nd April 1842, near Turin.


Dominic studied with Don Bosco at the Turin Oratory, planning to become a priest. He lived a life of great piety, and was renowned for his cheerfulness, and for his intense desire to be a saint, something Don Bosco taught was a possibility for all of us.


He frequently played the peacemaker between the other boys, and was never afraid to speak out against wrong-doing and to warn his peers of the danger they courted in giving in to sin.


One of his dearest wishes was to come to England as a missionary, but at the age of fourteen, he died at home with his family around him. His last words were: 'Oh, what wonderful things I see!'


Pope Pius XI described him as 'small in size but a towering giant in spirit'.


Dominic was canonised in 1952, and is patron of choirboys and the wrongly-accused.


Read more about him

Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:15


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Under the title of ‘Don Bosco: the Magic Weaver’, 40 Salesian Sisters and Collaborators came together to study what it means to ‘Walk with the young’ and ‘Waste time with the young’.

Sr Lucy Rose FMA from the General Council in Rome offered some reflections on the Salesian Family and the Strenna.


Helen MacDonald led the first session allowing people to reflect on different memories, and lots of old and new experiences and new opportunities. The session culminated with the confirmation that it doesn’t matter what we bring to the table, we are all ‘members of the Salesian Family’.

Lunch was in the hall (United Reform Church, Blundellsands) and much to everyone’s delight, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.

For our Lenten reflections this year, in partnership with our Mission Office, we have taken the theme for Salesian Mission Day 2017. We will be returning to the roots of the Salesian missionary vocation by learning more about our missionary presence with the indigenous peoples of America. This week, hear about the peoples of the Amazon Rainforest, on the borders of Brazil and Venezuala.


At the end of the seventeenth century and early eighteenth century some indigenous peoples of Rio Negro experienced persecution by non-indigenous explorers. Among these people, were also my ancestors of the Arañaos ethnicity. At that time, some people died from various diseases, but many others were killed; while still others escaped from the river bank and went to live in the forest. The Salesians, upon reaching those lands, approached the indigenous people and won their confidence by showing that they were not bad people.



Retreats are an important part of spiritual life at our Salesian schools. The Chaplaincy at Salesian School Chertsey tells us about the Year 7 Retreats, which concluded last week


Each pupil in school is given the opportunity to reflect on God, self and neighbour. Recently, the Year 7 pupils received a retreat experience with fellow members of their tutor groups in a safe, spiritual environment.


The theme of the retreat was "An Unexpected Journey", based on the title of the first of The Hobbit trilogy of films. The author of The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien, was a devout and committed Catholic.

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Award winning author Alex Wheatle, MBE, delighted and enthralled students, staff, parents and governors at Saint John Bosco College, Battersea, on World Book Day, Thursday 2nd March with tales from his life and readings from his books.

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