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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.


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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.


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


Friday, 14 August 2015 16:26


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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.


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


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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


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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.

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.

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 12:30

FMA Pastoral Day - 28th February 2015

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Do you know the world and reality of our young people today? - one of a series of hard hitting questions that 30 people had to wrestle with at the FMA Pastoral Day held last weekend at Blundellsands.


Don Bosco once wrote that 'we would continue the work he had started ; "I sketch, you will paint in the colours"' - a challenge to all involved with young people.

The day consisted of prayer, reflection and sessions, including two speakers - Joanne Brown, a Volunteer with 'Foodbank', and Ken McCabe, who was for four and a half years a prison chaplain at Walton jail, Liverpool. Both shared their experiences particularly of young people and the effects both economic and spiritual poverty had on them.


The day was organised by Mary Biddle, the Youth Pastoral Worker for the Salesian Sisters, and everybody agreed it was an excellent day.

The FMA Communities of Glasgow, Cowley, Blundelsands, Battersea, Croxteth were well represented, as well as adults, young and old from UR Space, Kendal, Vides and others involved in Salesian Spirituality.


As you will already know, this is a very special year for the Salesian Family. We are celebrating 200 years since the birth of St. John Bosco! To help mark this special year, the Salesian Youth Movement are holding an international youth gathering this summer, walking in the footsteps of Mary Mazzarello in Mornese and John Bosco in Turin.

The highlight of the week will be an overnight stay in Colle Don Bosco, waking up in the home of St. John Bosco on his birthday!

ColleDonBoscoThis event will see young members of the Salesian Family gather in Italy from all over the world. For our group, the initial weekend will be spent in Mornese, visiting the places of St. Mary Mazzarello. On Monday 10th, we will travel to Turin and spend a week visiting the places of St. John Bosco, as well as having opportunities for prayer, mass and socialising.

On Saturday 15th August, we will make our way to Colle Don Bosco (by foot where possible!) and camp overnight, taking part in a vigil, followed by morning mass on Don Bosco’s birthday.

It really will be an amazing week and we would love you to join us! Here are some important details:

WHEN: 7th – 16th August 2015

WHERE: Mornese and Turin (with an overnight stay in Milan)

COST: £450 (including flights, travel in Italy, basic accommodation and meals)

WHO: Young Adults aged 18+

What Next?

If you are interested, please email Mary at the Youth Pastoral Office and ask for a registration form. Please note that all registration forms must be fully completed and returned by Friday 13th February. We are also asking for a deposit of £200 to be paid by this date. If for any reason you are unable to pay this deposit by the 13th February (we know it is very short notice), but would like to be part of the group, please contact us as soon as possible.

If you have any queries or questions, please contact the Youth Pastoral Office: We hope you can join us!

Friday, 06 February 2015 16:30

Youth Pastoral Day 2015

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On Saturday 28th February, there will be a Youth Pastoral Day for all those involved with Youth Pastoral work across the FMA Province. The day will be held at the Salesian Sisters, Blundellsands, from 11.00am - 4.00pm.

The day will focus on how we are called to 'Continue the Dream' of Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello in our current youth culture. We will focus in particular on the new Salesian strenna for 2015, reflecting on our Salesian call to work with the young who are most vulnerable. There will be input, discussion, visiting speakers and time for prayer and reflection. A light lunch will be provided.

If you would like to come along, please email Mary -

It would be great to see you there!

Thursday, 01 January 2015 12:55


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(© Igor Stevanovic -

"When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are!" (Edgar Cayce)

The words of Edgar Cayce capture for me the immediacy of new beginnings. . . present in the here and NOW! So, why is it we always wait for a New Year to begin to start again?

New Year is a time when we are all drawn to look back; to remember and to reminisce over all that has been. It is a time when we remember the struggles and sorrows in our own lives and in our world. It is also a time to recall the happy and treasured moments where God broke into our ordinary lives. It's a time to give thanks!

As Salesians, we are called to live each 'ordinary day' in an 'extraordinary way!' We are called to live in the present moment; not in the past or in the future. St Francis de Sales reminds us that "holiness is found in a path opened to us in our daily lives."

A New Year is a new beginning; a fresh start! It carries with it a sense of hope and new life. In 2015, my New Year wish for each one of YOU is to 'start where you are' wherever you are. No more avoiding or waiting; God is with us NOW!

May 2015 be a year where you and all your loved ones are touched by the true love of our God present in our daily lives.

I wish you all a very happy and blessed New Year.

Sr Connie Cameron FMA


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