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By Niamh, Thornleigh College Work Experience Student


On June 21st, 2018 Ex-Salesian College pupil and former Cabinet Secretary Gus O' Donnell was heartily welcomed back to St John Bosco College Battersea to spend a bit of time on the other side of the desk.


Mr O'Donnell taught the students about politics, from his experience as a cabinet secretary.


He has many Salesian influences from his place of education. He was welcomed with open arms by Head Paul Dunne and school governor, Nick Potter (pictured above).

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 00:59

Salesian Holiday Italy 2018

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SDB Rome g 13 June 2018

The group in Rome


Provincial Secretary Fr Kieran Anderson writes about the recent SDB 'Roman Holiday'

From 11 – 15 June 2018, nine Salesians, accompanied by Mrs Marguerite Lydon, travelled to Villa Palazzola, Rocca di Papa, Italy. The summer house of the English College, Rome overlooking Lake Albano to the south of the city of Rome was the perfect setting for a few days holiday together.


On Wednesday June 27th 2018, almost two hundred and fifty pupils from Year 7 completed a circuit of Salesian School Guildford Road. This event, organised by the Chaplain and supported by the Head of Year 7, involved Year 7 pupils completing a 0.48km walk around the Guildford Road site in Tutor Groups with their Tutors.



We are delighted to have another student from Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton with us this week for a work experience placement. Niamh, a Year 10 student, has shown talent and versatility, as she worked across Don Bosco Publications and Salesianlink.


Her busy week has included editing complex translated text for a new book, selecting the quotes for July's Text-a-Day, and using her amazing artistic skills to create Salesianlink's social media quote pictures for next month. Her ongoing project for the week has been to research, write and edit the Province's news, and to produce the latest issue of RuaLink e-news.



On Wednesday June 20th, the Memorial of St. Alban, a selection of Year 7 pupils from Salesian School Chertsey attended the annual Good Shepherd Celebration at Worth Abbey, West Sussex. Salesian School Chertsey has a proud tradition of being in the position to represent Catholic secondary schools in this increasingly popular diocesan event.



Province Justice and Peace delegate, Fr Marco Villani SDB, reports on CAFOD's work in South America


On Saturday June 16th the CAFOD Mass of Thanksgiving for Volunteers was held in the Salesian parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, Sherborne Road, Farnborough. The Mass, which took place at 2pm, was organised by Martin Brown, CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator.

On Saturday July 16th the CAFOD Mass of Thanksgiving for Volunteers was held in the Salesian parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, Sherborne Road, Farnborough. The Mass, which took place at 2pm, was organised by Martin Brown, CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator. After the Mass, a talk was given by a CAFOD employee who spoke at length about her official visits to Guatemala and El Salvador. A number of farmers in El Salvador grow maize, which can be difficult as small -scale farmers not only have to battle the inimical physical geography and climate, but also the presence of “middle-men” who buy their maize only to sell it to third parties for exaggerated profits. In many cases, it is the children of these farmers who suffer. Many children are orphans or have to be looked after by aunts and grandparents as parents have had to move in order to find work. One grandmother who has sadly passed away, confided to the speaker five years ago that she prayed that God would “give me a long life so that I can continue to work for Him.” In Guatemala, a country plagued by violence both civil and domestic, communities have been blighted by turf wars between rival drug gangs. During the recent disastrous volcanic eruptions, in which scores of people have tragically lost their lives and many are still missing, CAFOD works with local partners to assist people in both their immediate and long-term need. For the past thirty years, CAFOD has been supporting the Federation of Radio Schools in Guatemala. This service provides education to children who otherwise would be unable to attend school on a regular basis due to transport difficulties and rural isolation. One of the benefits of the radio schools is that broadcasts are made in many of the local languages. For many people of Guatemala, with its large percentage of indigenous peoples, many of whom speak little Spanish, the radio broadcasts in their local languages helps both to educate, inform and instil a sense of community. Communication is vital in the case of recent events, as the radio stations were able to request on air the donation of vital emergency donations, such as toothbrushes, nappies, sanitary towels and items of food. Furthermore the speaker told the attendees about Fr. Asis, a native of Cape Verde, currently working in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Overcoming the racism of certain police officers, F. Asis feels that his calling is to be a voice of challenge to society, especially for the poor facing eviction from their favelas. Fr. Asis believes that it is essential to listen to people; only then can you truly understand what they need and want. He believes that Jesus did not build churches; instead He brought people together.

Monday, 18 June 2018 15:16

Comical Games at Savio Salesian College

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Comical Games??? Hazel Fort, from the Chaplaincy at Savio Salesian College Bootle near Liverpool, explains all about this day of fun for the younger members of the Bosco Group - students who volunteer to be directly involved in Don Bosco's mission at school.


May 24th, 2018 dawned fair but cloudy. As it progressed, the day matched other days that week and spawned a heatwave. Thus many prayers were answered by God and Mary Help of Christians, whose feast day it was: we could hold our Comical Games.

‘What are Comical Games?’ asked the Junior Boscos somewhat dubiously.

‘It’s like the Olympic games with all the serious bits taken out!’ I answered.


We were at the end of a long, dark year in which the Junior Boscos had worked their socks off. Every dinner break, they had been involved in Charity Fund Raising, Liturgical Art, Drama to animate the weekly Gospel, or planning their Peer Chaplaincies – all leading up to submitting their work for their Faith in Action qualification. They had spent a fortnight polishing up their reports or seeking out photographs for evidence. It was time for fun.


I instituted a games tournament in which they had teams and played three card games, three board games, three games of air hockey and three games of Pool. BUT the culmination was to be the Comical Games played outside on our Sports Field.


SavioComiCALgAMES 1


Two of our Senior Boscos volunteered to help: Aleisha and Kieron (Year Ten) had become pretty used to organising the youngsters and had a good rapport with the Year 7 & 8 students. Solemnly, they instructed them on the wearing of sun cream, hats and appropriate shoes and clothing. They marked out three lanes on the field in which the students would be competing.


Come the day, I cast a doubtful look at the sky and said a quick prayer to Mary. She must have had sympathy with me - or she, too, was interested to see what would happen. Our excited but suspicious students changed into their games kit.


‘My knee’s very sore. I don’t think I can compete. I can't run.’ One of them told me dismally. (Really, Kelsey? Who said anything about running?)

‘I don’t think I can come. I’ve got football practice. But I could come at the end. Can I still join in?’ (Certainly, Keira)

I gave instructions. ‘Each race has to take place three times to get a fair result.’ (Liar, Hazel! You just wanted to make sure of the photographs!)

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 16:33

World Refugee Day 2018

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WorldRefugeeDay18 Unlesswatersaferthanland


World Refugee Day is on 20th June. We pray for all those facing hardship, anxiety and danger as they are forced to seek refuge away from their homes, for the people who help them, and for our politicians, who need to find fair, caring and Christian soluntions to the world wide refugee crisis, and the conflict and poverty at its root. 


Speaking in support of the Caritas Share the Journey campaign, Pope Francis has encouraged "all people of good will to create ever new spaces for sharing” with refugees and migrants to create greater compassion, understanding and solidarity.


Read more on Vatican News



Over 70 representatives from Catholic youth organisations and religious orders attended the launch this week of 'Complex Catholicism', a new study from the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) and strategy consultancy Camino House, into the shifting dynamics in the faith and life of Catholic young adults in England and Wales. The report and a typology tool to help in applying the research is available to download or purchase.

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