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Numeracy Week is a yearly initiative by St John Bosco Arts College, Croxteth, which promotes numeracy skills and mathematics amongst pupils.


Pupils across all year groups got involved in weekly activities and challenges to promote the importance of understanding basic numeracy skills and mathematical problems.

Numeracy tasks during the week included a ‘Puzzle of the Day’ which was shared on school screens and social media; using numeracy clocks to work out the time; Times Table games in form time and lunchtime quizzes in the school canteen.

On Monday, The Happy Puzzle Company visited the school to help Year 7 and 8 pupils to problem solve and develop thinking skills. The week concluded on Friday with a numeracy presentation and discussion exploring where numeracy is used in school and everyday life.


The school believes numeracy skills are an essential lifelong skill which is important to understand for the world of work and everyday life. Its excellent maths practice and dedication to promoting numeracy skills was rewarded earlier this year when the school was awarded the ‘Gold Liverpool Counts Quality Mark’.

Numeracy and Teaching and Learning Coordinator Paul Coffey, says: “Good numeracy skills are an important skill to have, not only for future careers and jobs but for all aspects of everyday life such as paying bills and finding the best deals when shopping.

“Numeracy Week is our way to showcase numeracy in action; throughout the school day, pupils are faced with puzzles, activities and numeracy-themed games to get them thinking about numeracy in a new, exciting way outside scheduled maths lessons.

“We have had a fantastic response from pupils every Numeracy Week and this year has been no different, with pupils showing their love of maths right across the school!”


Source & Photos: The Foundry Agency

Monday, 05 December 2016 11:03

Salesian Calendar 2017 - out now!

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SDBCalendars2016 500


Our 2017 calendar is in stock now!


With colourful images, inspiring quotes and space for your notes, it's a great help for organising your year. Feast days and international events are included so you'll always be up to date.


If you receive our Don Bosco Today magazine, you'll be getting a complimentary calendar in the post very soon. If you're not a subsrciber, or if you'd like more as gifts, please contact Sarah or Bernadette at Don Bocso Publications to order yours.


Calendars are priced at £2.50 each, plus £1.20 UK p&p. 

Monday, 05 December 2016 09:48

Feast of Blessed Philip Rinaldi

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On 5th December, we celebrate Philip Rinaldi. He was five years old when he Don Bosco in 1856. In 1922, he became the third person to follow him as Rector Major of the Salesians.


A quiet, self-effacing man, he led the continued growth of the Salsians of Don Bosco, and laid the foundations of the Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB), the the Secular Institute of the Salesians, which celebrates its centenary on 17th May 2017. The VDB is a branch of Consecrated life, whose mmbers live out their vows in their working lives in the world, guided by the Salesian charism.


Blessed Philip died in Turin on 5th December 1931, and was beatified in 1990.

“What must you do to have life? Before all else, the first thing you have to do is pray for courage every day to carry the cross the Lord has assigned you. Then let each of you do your own work really well, the work proper to your state, as God wants it, and according to your condition.” Blessed Philip Rinaldi


Read more about his life

Advent2 2016



Mary, the mother of Jesus, is especially in our thoughts during Advent. Here, Fr Juan José Bartolomé helps us to place Mary at the heart of our community and our prayer, by reflecting on her presence with the Apostles in the upper room, after the Ascension of Jesus, as they wait for the Spirit he promised.


Acts 1:12-14

Mary belongs to the life of the Church right from its beginning. She accompanies the disciples of her son as they await the promised Spirit and as they prepare, united in prayer, for the mission entrusted to them. (p86)

The apostles who pray with Mary live in hope of the Spirit, awaiting the birth of the Church. Mary, who has experience of the birth of the Spirit, has an assured place wherever people desire the baptism of the Spirit of Jesus and where the body of Christ is about to be born. The prayer of the apostles, no matter how confused it might be or however full of fear, is the best preparation for receiving the Spirit of God, and the only way to make possible a new incarnation of the Son. If we restore Mary to the community life of the apostles, experience her presence as we wait for the coming of the Spirit, share with her our waiting and our prayer, our hopes and our fears, then we will be able to repeat her experience – the Spirit will come down as before, on the apostles waiting in prayer with Mary. (p89)

From: Blessed Is She Who Believed: Mary’s Pilgrimage of Faith, Juan José Bartolomé SDB


Praying with our senses:


Set aside some time in a quiet space, where you can be still and relax. Read the scripture again, and then imagine you are in the upper room, waiting with Mary and the apostles.

• What can you see? Is the room bright, or shady? Focus your attention on Mary. What do you notice about her? Does she look familiar to you, or is there anything surprising about her appearance? What is the expression on her face?
• What else can you sense in the room? Is it hot or cool? Perhaps the aromas of spices from stalls in the street are wafting in through the windows? Is there a breeze touching your face from an open window? Or is the air still and stuffy? Is the floor smooth or worn and rough? Are there textiles and cushions where you are sitting? Can you feel the expectation in the atmosphere?
• Listen to the sounds in the room. Can you hear the noise from the street below? Are people in the room praying silently, or aloud? Can you hear their voices? Can you hear the voice of Mary, speaking aloud or within her heart? What is she saying? Maybe her prayer is for you too?
• Speak to Mary: You are close to Mary now. She is our mother, and she knows how to wait and prepare. Talk to her about your worries and your hopes. Ask her to pray with you to Jesus.


Fr Sony Joseph Pottenplackal SDB, Rector and Principal of Don Bosco Technical High School sends news of their recent celebrations. The school in Liberia has had strong connections to our GBR Province, through Fr Michael O'Meara, Fr Joe Brown and others. The celebrations were attended by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Miroslaw Adamczyk, and many former pupils attended.

Greetings from Don Bosco Monrovia!

We had a little celebration here in Monrovia a week ago as our school is 25 years old now. The work has grown and this is in fact a monument of the work of the early Salesians who dedicated their life in Liberia - most of who were British Salesians. The late Fr Michael O'Meara is dearly remembered for his hard work as the first principal of the school. Past pupils cherish him as someone who really gave them a life in difficult times. We want to express our deepest thanks on behalf of all the beneficiaries to all of you for the support given to the Salesian work here.

Here are some pictures of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Don Bosco Technical High School.

We also rededicated and consecrated our parish church.


Warm regards and prayers,

Fr Sony Joseph Pottenplackal SDB






St Gregs Bollington HolyDoor


On Friday 18 November Father Cyril from Savio House led a group of parishioners from St Gregory’s church in Bollington near Macclesfield on a pilgrimage to St Albans in Macclesfield to celebrate the Year of Mercy. This was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to share in the graces promised when passing through the Door of Mercy.


After praying the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary the congregation gathered in the church porch in front of the Holy Door where Father Cyril prayed from the psalms before we returned to the main church. Reciting the Divine Mercy chaplet made a prayerful preparation for receiving the sacraments.


Before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist Fathers Tony and Roman (from Savio House) joined Father Cyril to offer the congregation the sacrament of reconciliation.

The graces we receive from God are often beyond words, but in snippets of conversation since the Pilgrimage people have said “That day I felt a great weight lifted from me, that I didn’t even know I was carrying” and “I feel free” and “I am still receiving graces from the pilgrimage”.


This incredible opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence and experience God’s love for us was made possible by the service and dedication of the priests at Savio House to whom St Gregory’s owes a debt of gratitude.


Annette Hurst

St Gregory’s, Bollington, Cheshire

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 12:12

Shows, shoes and English classes in Kolkata

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Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB gives us an update on the work he and the Salesians of India are doing with children in Kolkata.


I came to India with the express intention of doing some work with the night school children who are from poor homes and some from the slums in the locality. I also wanted to see where I could help out with Don Bosco Ashalayam.


Within a week of arriving I started English conversation classes with the night school children. These classes are optional and they have to come an hour before school. I have had to divide them into year groups because there would be too many for one class. It also means that I can gear my lessons to the differing standards of each class. The boys are enthusiastic and at times their rough edges come out but I completely love them. They are grateful for whatever help they receive and are appreciate of everything that is being done for them.




Above is a photo I took of a shoe that one of the boys was turning up to school in. He was not alone. I put a picture on Facebook and got at least 20 people who have asked to donate money for new shoes. I managed to buy the first set of shoes at the local market on Saturday with the sharpest 14 year old cookie I have ever met! He beat the vendor down Rs 40.00 for each pair of shoes.


Yesterday was the annual Parents and Rector's day for which the children put on a variety show. I had been at most of the rehearsals and I have to say that what the teachers managed to get the children to do yesterday was nothing short of a miracle! All clothes and make-up, etc. were supplied by Don Bosco School, Park Circus. The show was just a feast for the eyes and the ears. For these children the opportunity to perform on stage and to be taught Bengali dance and English drama is a real opportunity.



With regard to Don Bosco Ashalayam, I have been asked to coach the 16 year olds who have the equivalent of their GCSE exams in February. English is their weakest subject so I go to the local home and tutor them - very different to life in an RE classroom! I managed to bring out some mini white boards and pens with me which the boys love and is very good for revision. Needless to say I do feel under pressure to try and get these lads through the exam - can you imagine if they failed their English exam having had coaching from someone born and brought up in the UK?! How shameful that would be!!




As you can see in the picture above,  some of the night school children are very good artists and so I am trying to organise a few artwork shops for them over the Christmas break. It is a subject that is not taught in school so with some advice from Sophie Hunter at Salesian School in Chertsey and a local lad here, we are hoping to offer some of these boys an experience of experimenting with different types of art.


If you would like to help Fr Andrew provide shoes, or make a donation to assist in any part of the work of the night school or Don Bosco Ashalayam, please email us for more information.



Thursday, 01 December 2016 14:44

Sisters open new house in Beckenham

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The new community house in Beckenham was blessed by Bishop Pat Lynch this week. He is pictured above with Sr Mary and Sr Helen.


It's a busy but exciting time, as the Sisters continue to settle in, and prepare for their mission, working with female asylum seekers.


We wish them every blessing in their valuable work.



SYM Sal Spir Weekend2

Sue McDonald of Salesian Youth Ministry, tells us about the Salesian Spirituality Weekend, held from 25 - 27 November 2016, at Savio House


This weekend, the last of the year for the youth ministry department, was one of reflection on our our spirituality. This year we began with a 10 year period of Mary Mazzarello's life, from 1855-1865. During these years, from the 1st consecration of the Duaghters of Mary Immaculate to the laying of the foundation stone in the School at Mornese, Mary Mazzarello faced many challenges calling for many changes, sometimes subtle and other times life changing.

After this we looked at our our life stories as Salesians over the past 10 years. This was very moving and led to a depth we could not have anticipated.

A brisk walk was needed and as aways we ended up at the lovely waterside cafe at the canal for hot chocolate and scones.

We went on in the weekend to share on the future as salesians in GBR and closed the evening with the Film of Mary Mazzarello "Main, the House of Happiness". 

Although we only gather once a year for specific Salesian Spirituality reflection this time is very special and we were amazed to see how our lifes have intertwined with one another over the years.

It was great to also have the sharing this year with the Salesians in Initial formation alongside the lay people, thanks to Fr Martin Poulsom for organising this.


So from the Youth Ministry Office, wishing you all a holy and blessed time of waiting this Advent,


Sue McDonald



Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:46

Visit from Syro Malabar Bishop of Great Britain

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Prov BpSyroMalabar FrM FrK FrFrancois500


We were delighted to welcome Mar Joseph Srampickal, Syro Malabar Bishop of Great Britain, when he and Fr Francois visited Salesian Provincial House today,  to meet Fr Gerry O'Briody SDB, our Provincial.


Bishop Joseph's seat is at St Alphonsa Cathedral, Preston, (formerly St Ignatius' church), where there is a community of 120 families, and his Eparchy covers the 160 thriving Syro Malabar Mass centres throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The Eparchy of Great Britain was established in July 2016 by Pope Francis, and 12,000 people attended Bishop Joseph's ordination at Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium in October.


The Syro Malabar Church is one of the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome, and follows the East-Syrian liturgy which dates back to the 3rd century. The Church traces its origins to the mission of St Thomas the Apostle.


Pictured above, left to right, are: Fr Gerry SDB, Bishop Joseph, Frs Michael and Kieran SBD, and Fr Francois.


Find out more about the Syro Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain



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RISE: Young Salesian Leaders' Summer Camp 2016

Youth Ministry

RISE: Young Salesian Leaders' Summer Cam…

Clare Lewis | 26-08-2016

David McCormick, one of the Rise volunteers, takes us through the first part of this year’s week-long event for the Salesian leaders of the future   For the second year, some of...

Sisters open new house in Beckenham

Salesian Sisters News

Sisters open new house in Beckenham

Clare Lewis | 01-12-2016

The new community house in Beckenham was blessed by Bishop Pat Lynch this week. He is pictured above with Sr Mary and Sr Helen.   It's a busy but exciting time, as...


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