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Friday, 30 September 2016 15:02

Sr Cecily Dunne's ashes laid to rest

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On the 17th September at 11.30 a small group of the Salesian family gathered to lay to to rest the ashes of Sr Cecily Dunn FMA who died on May 24th after a three week period of illness.

The service took place at Alvin's funeral directors memorial garden which lies directly across the road from the Don Bosco Centre where Sr Cecily had worked for over thirty years. The service was led by Sr Pat Devine with support from Sr Norma and Romaine Shilling.
The Bosco Centre has undergone a major refurbishment since the death of Sr Cecily and is already working to full capacity in its nursery and college sections.

The last words of the ashes service were these:
Finally as we leave her ashes here with a promise to visit when we can, we remember in silence her zest for life, her inspirational leadership, her passion for the young which mirrored that of Don Bosco, her vision to free the potential in each young person and her complete and utter conviction that love is all you need.

Fr David O'Malley

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 12:36

Jubilarians celebrate 315 years of FMA life

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The 144th anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians last week was celebrated with even greater joy in our Province, as there were six jubilarians this year.

On this wonderful occasion, a combined total of 315 years of religious life was commemorated at the Provincial House in Blundellsands: Sr Lisetta, 70 years; Sr Anne, Sr Ella and Sr Sally, 60 years; Sr Kay, 40 years; and Sr Linda, 25 years.

The sisters renewed their vows during a beautiful Mass at St Joseph's parish church, and the celebrations with friends, families and sisterhood continued at the House.

We congratulate them, and give thanks for their inspiring commitment and dedication.

'God of love, we thank you for our Sisters Lisetta, Anne, Ella, Sally, Kay and Linda, and for their loving service to the young'

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Thursday, 07 July 2016 10:04

Blessed Mary Romero Meneses

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On 7th July, the Salesian Family remembers a sister of the Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians, who was born in Nicaragua and carried out her mission with the poor in Costa Rica.

Blessed Mary Romero Meneses was a contemplative in action in the mould of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello: a valued spiritual director and writer, who took a practical approach to alleviating the suffering of the people arond her, especially the young. She built proper homes for the homeless, organised volunteers to help families living in dire conditions, and built a church in Saint José to encourage the Salesian devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians.

Because of her work for the people of Costa Rica, the government made her an honorary citizen. She died in 1977, and was beatified in 2002.

Read more about her life and work

Thursday, 12 May 2016 14:56

Happy Feast of St Mary Mazzarello!

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On 13th May, we celebrate the feast of St Mary Domenica Mazzarello, who, with Don Bosco, founded the Daughters of May Help of Christians, the Salesian Sisters. 

She was the first Mother General, and to support their work with poor and abandoned girls, she felt it was vital that she and the other sisters have a good understanding of how to read and write; skills which many of them had never had the opportunity to acquire. Mother Mazzarello would sit along side all of the other Sisters and learn with them – an example of humility and dedication, as well as an encouragement to the others in their struggles.

Her dedication to her sisters was not limited to their intellectual development alone. In every way she was an attentive mother, which is why to this day she is still fondly called 'Mother Mazzarello. She travelled to visit the communities of sisters as the Congregation grew, and sent wonderful letters of support, love and encouragement which continue to provide inspiration and comfort for the Salesian Family today.

 

'Courage! When you are tired and troubled, go and place all your worries in the Heart of Jesus'

 

Read more about St Mary Mazzarello 

Friday, 06 May 2016 10:54

Mary, Help of Christians Celebration Day

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MHC Programme 2016

Mary, Help of Christians holds a special place in the Salesian Family. On June 9 1868 St John Bosco dedicated the mother church of his congregation at Turin to her, and the Salesians of Don Bosco and their Sisters have carried the devotion on, extending it to all those they work with.

Fr Andrew Ehrahim SDB is the guest speaker at this year's celebration, and the theme is Forgiveness and the Year of Mercy.

The event will be held at will be held on Sunday, 22nd May at St Anne's Catholic Primary School, Chertsey, from 10 am to 4pm.

 

Download the programme

 

Contact: chertseycooperatorscentre@gmail.com

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The yearly meeting of the FMA inter-provincial conference for part of Europe and the Middle East took place in the beautiful city of Bratislava.

The chosen theme for reflection and discussion was Vocations Culture. Present with the provincials were delegates who have an interest and experience of this topic.

An inspiring, challenging presentation by Fr. Igino Biffi SDB opened the topic and, together with two practical experiences presented by the Austrian-German and the Slovenian provinces, provided a platform for thought and discussion.

As well as deepening an awareness and thirst for establishing a vocational culture the participants benefited from the wonderful hospitality of the Slovakian province. They enjoyed a wonderful evening of recreation with performances form the Slovakian Novices and they also got to experience the rich culture of Slovakia through dance presented by a very talented local youth group.

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Sunday saw the group visit to national Marian Shrine of Sastin where they were also lunch guests of the Salesians who look after the shrine and Church there. Afterwards, Sr. Arianna took us on a walking tour of Bratislava - it was all very interesting and helped us walk off such a feast!

All this, together with future planning and sharing, made the days fly by leaving much food for thought and a desire to move forward in creating a Vocational Culture.

Sr Anne Frances McNamee

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Friday, 14 August 2015 16:26

CONGRATULATIONS ARE VERY MUCH IN ORDER...

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In his Apostolic Letter on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis encourages us to 'look back with gratitude; live the present with passion; look to the future with hope', so said Fr Martin Coyle SDB in his homily to the congregation at the Parish Church of St Joseph's, Blundellsands on the celebration of the anniversaries of Final Profession of Sister Elena Gibson FMA (Ruby), Sisters Helen Murphy FMA, Valerie Jackson FMA, Eileen Foley FMA (Golden) and Sister Helen Carey FMA (Diamond).

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L to R - Sr Helen Carey, Sr Eileen Foley, Sr Valerie Jackson, Sr Helen Murphy, Sr Elena Gibson

The whole congregation thanked the Sisters for their lives of dedicated service to young people as religious women in the Church - by faithfully following the example of Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello, and of being with the young in friendship and love.

The celebrations continued afterwards at the Provincial House, where everybody was invited to drinks, a lovely buffet and a cake which was expertly cut by Sister Helen.
 
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This year's annual Provincial Assembly at Hinsley Hall had several new features.

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Last weekend 28 FMA were joined by 10 members of the Salesian Family who were led by Sr. Kathleen Taylor an FMA from Ireland. Sr Kathleen facilitated the weekend and helped us explore how to make the message of our recent XXIII General Chapter theme: Broaden your Horizons, be with the young missionaries of hope and joy become a lived reality!

A poem by Margaret Wheatley, which was presented to the group's reflection, in some measure, sums up the focus of our work:

We rise or fall by the choice we make,
It all depends on the road we take,
And the choice of the road each depend
On the light that we have, the light we bend,
On the light we use
Or refuse,
On the lives we live by,
And from which we die.

We worked hard to see what Prophetic Choices we felt challenged to make against the three main areas chosen by the Chapter:
• A personal encounter with Jesus,
• Walking WITH the Young
• Missionaries of Hope and Joy

Reflecting on the icon of Emmaus painted by a Brazilian sister, we allowed the scripture from Luke to guide and accompany us in our deliberations. We were led through a process which demanded reflection, discussion and frank exchanges. Eventually, we were able to prioritise the Prophetic Choices we felt we needed to work on, here in the UK for the next few years. We also looked at one practical way to make these Choices a lived reality. It took a good deal of hard work but we feel that together we have broken the ground which we will continue to work on.

It was not all hard work ! We did have plenty of time to catch up with the news and lives of each other. The lovely setting of Hinsley Hall and reasonable weather made the whole event a really energising occassion! Having Fr Michael Cunningham celebrate mass for us made our tiem together extra special.

We left Hinsley Hall, our hearts burning within us and we set our immediately to "broaden our horizons with the young and be missionaries of Hope and Joy!"

 

Thursday, 30 April 2015 15:07

SALESIAN SPIRITUALITY WEEKEND

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0233From the 25th-26th April Blundellsands Liverpool resounded to the noise of participants on the Salesian Spirituality programme.   

This programme has been running since 2006 and it was great to see it in action again!  The programme itself consisted of eight sessions, which looked at many different aspects of Salesian Spirituality and Salesian Youth Work.  The activities, discussions and personal reflection time gave everyone the opportunity to reflect on their own Salesian approach.  The weekend was very much enjoyed by everyone and we all left feeling renewed and inspired!  We are looking forward to running the programme in the future and we really hope that more people will 'come and see' what it's all about!

Thursday, 30 April 2015 14:51

VISIT TO THE FMA/VIDES HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE

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From Monday 13th April, to Friday 17th April, Sr. Anne Frances FMA (VIDES UK) and Mary Biddle (Youth Pastoral) visited the FMA/VIDES Human Rights Office and the United Nations in Geneva.

The International Institute of Maria Ausiliatrice (Salesian Sisters) and VIDES International are both recognised NGOs within the United Nations and therefore have a right to vote on the Human Rights Council.  As part of their visit, they received formation and training from Sr. Maria Grazia Caputo, focused on the aims, objectives and structure of the UN.  They also had the unique opportunity of putting theory into practice by visiting and experiencing first-hand the work of the United Nations.  They spent two days participating in the convention for migrant workers and their families and a third day on the redress and rehabilitation of victims of torture.  It was a truly incredible experience which challenged and inspired them.

 

Both Anne Frances and Mary will be sharing their experience around the FMA Province in the coming weeks.  

Look out for further information on:

 

'Good Christians, Honest Citizens... Are we doing enough?'

St John Bosco Arts College, based in Croxteth opened its doors to students and teachers after completing the first phase of its massive £18 million school build in September. As part of a city wide building programme this is one of the most exciting and inspiring leaning spaces around.

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The new building is less rigid in design, allowing maximum use and flexibility in the way the school teaches lessons. The school is based around a central heart space which offers students study booths with flat screen technology and a learning resource centre..
The school has a designated Salesian area where the Religious Education department are based alongside the school Chaplain and the beautiful Prayer room. This flexible space is the perfect design for larger groups sharing in collective worship and for smaller groups sharing quieter Prayer moments. Staff were able to use the space for the year 7 welcome mass at the beginning of the School year.

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