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Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:33

VIDES - Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart

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On Saturday 29th November VIDES celebrated 25 years in the UK.

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The day began with a wonderful celebration of Mass in St. James', Bootle where VIDES held a camp for 5 years. The Mass was celebrated by Frs. Gerry O'Shaughnessy and Michael Winstanley. However, special thanks must also go to Fr. Michael Cunningham who has always been very willing to support VIDES through the celebration of Mass.

The theme of the Mass was, 'Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart' and that is certainly what we did. Volunteers past and present joined the FMA, members of the Salesian family and local parishioners to give thanks for the memories, formation, service, friendships and fun they have experienced through VIDES in the last 25 years.

Also present with us on the day were Sr. Maria Grazia who founded VIDES International back in 1987 and who now works in the Human Rights Office of the UN in Geneva and Sr. Leonor Salazar Garcia, delegate of VIDES International in Rome. They were very impressed by all our volunteers and the sense of family spirit amongst us all.

 

Vides25002In the evening we gathered in the Firwood Cricket Club, Bootle to celebrate...VIDES style! Some memories people would have perhaps rather have been forgotten were brought to light through Iain Biddle's fabulous quiz and finding of the 1996 VIDES promotional video; "Pure gold!" I think was the phrase used!!!

It was certainly a wonderful day of celebrations and giving thanks for the last 25 years and, encouraged by the words of Sr. Leonor, having remembered and given thanks we now renew and look forward to the next 25 years of VIDES UK!

Friday, 24 October 2014 10:25

MOTHER YVONNE REUNGOAT RE-ELECTED

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Rome (Italy). This morning, at 9,35 the Chapter Members re-elected as Mother General Sr. Yvonne Reungoat The 9th successor of Mother Maria Domenica Mazzarello. Among the first to congratulate her along with the Chapter Members, was the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernandez Artime, . A long, warm applause greeted the official proclamation.

All members of the Salesian Family send their best wishes and promises of prayers to Mother Yvonne, and offer congratulations to the FMA British Province.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:11

VIDES UK hit Cowley for a 2nd Year!

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This summer, 21 volunteers from all over the UK and 2 from Slovenia travelled to the Salesian community of Cowley to lead a 10 day formation camp for the young people of the area. 

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From Friday 25th July – Sunday 3rd August these volunteers lived and worked together as one community in the service of the young. Our theme this year for both the young people and the formation of our volunteers was “partying with our superheroes’’ the reasoning behind the theme for the young people was celebrating 25 years of VIDES UK and to allow them to understand the qualities of superheroes and to try to recognise these qualities in themselves. These included; strength, not only the physical strength of people but also the strength of their love and understanding of each other, flying looking at their ability to reach for their ambitions, and teamwork after all every superhero has some sort of team behind them.


The young people of Cowley were a credit to the community and showed our volunteers what superheroes actually are.

 

The reasoning of theme for the formation of our volunteers, wasn’t much dissimilar to that of the young, however instead of looking at fictional superheroes, we focused on our Salesian heroes and how they are still inspirational figures to us as youth workers and volunteers, they included; Sean Devereux, Mamma Margaret, Mickie Magone, Laura Vicuna and of course both Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello


The week was a great success as daily 45-55 young people took time out of their day to come and spend time with us. Last year was our first year in Cowley and parents and the local community didn’t know what to expect, but thanks to the dedication of our VIDES volunteers, parents and the community once more put their trust in us to provide a fantastic week of activities.

 

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We give our most sincere thanks to the Salesian Sisters community of Cowley for their warm welcome and continued presence on the camp and to the SDB community of Cowley, especially Fr. Peter for his trust in us to deliver a camp for his young parishioners.


Special thanks must go to our volunteers who each gave up a week of their holiday, to sleep on a floor and shower in a sports centre, to be a part of the camp. This year’s team showed each other how to be true Salesian superheroes and we thank them for that.


We look forward to our return next summer to see the continued growth of the project for the young people we serve.

Monday, 11 August 2014 10:52

Sr Bruna Liveri Diamond Jubilee

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On Monday July 28th, Sister Bruna celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in Battersea Community. Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Kieran Anderson in the Convent Chapel. This celebration was followed by a festive meal and all had an enjoyable day.


During his homily, Father Kieran emphasized the sincere gratitude from the Salesian Congregation for Sister Bruna's years of unfailing generosity, constant fidelity, and infectious enthusiasm.


On the 5th August, the celebrations for the Jubilarians took place in the Provincial, House in Blundellsands. For Sister Bruna, the journey to Liverpool would be tiring so we had a second celebration in the Community, together with Father Kieran, Father Peter, Father Saju, and Brother John. Another festive meal was enjoyed by all ,followed by a very entertaining hour together.

 

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We all wish Sister Bruna every blessing and good health for her mission in the future.

Monday, 11 August 2014 10:25

Salesian Sisters' Anniversaries

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We are delighted to record the continuing celebrations at Blundellsands, and send our best wishes to;

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Sr Monica Smith FMA - 70 years professed
Sr Teresa Shannon FMA - Diamond profession (60 years)
Sr Bruna Livieri FMA - Diamond profession
Sr Cecily Dunn FMA - Golden profession (50 years)
Sr Norma Kirby FMA - Golden profession
Sr Maria Debano FMA - Ruby profession (40 years)

Sr Anne Frances FMA made her bi-annuals (vows for two years), and Sr Gill McCambridge FMA made vows for one year.

Below are a selection of photographs (unfortunately Srs Bruna, Cecily and Norma were unable to attend the gathering)

Friday, 08 August 2014 12:30

GOODBYE AND THANK YOU SR PAULINE

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AND WELCOME TO SR CONNIE...

 

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On the afternoon of 5th August Sisters gathered in Blundellsands for the jubilee celebrations, witnessed the handover of our present Provincial, Sr Pauline Clark, to Sr Connie Cameron who now takes on the mantle of leading the Province for the next six years.

Sr Pauline speaking to the Sisters, expressed her gratitude first to God 'who has been our constant guide and support during the past six years, amazing us all by his gentle but firm leading along difficult and painful paths' then 'to the Sisters of the Province who have given me great trust and love...and as I come to the end of my term, I thank you for your understanding and unfailing support.'

Sr Pauline knows that this same trust and understanding will now be shown to Sr Connie as she begins her service.

A lighted lantern, symbol of the passing on of the leadership was given to Sr Connie by Sr Pauline .

Sr Connie left for Italy on Thursday (7th) where she begins preparations for the General Chapter due to start in September.

We pray for Pauline as she begins a year of various renewal courses.

We pray for Connie as she takes up a challenging role in these days but know that 'the God who started this great work in her will keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish....'

Sunday, 13 July 2014 12:31

Croxteth Mission Week

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For 3 days, Salesian Youth Ministry, helped give St John Bosco Arts College in Croxteth, a little slice of Salesian Spirituality.
St John Bosco Arts College had arranged a mission week for the school, and the Salesians were lucky enough to be able to have a few workshops showing the four Salesian windows.

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:21

A Month in Makuyu, Kenya

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'Working with the young and the poor is the way we follow Jesus...'

Myself and Iain have just returned from a month volunteering abroad with VIDES UK in Kenya. We have been blessed with the opportunity of taking a year of our lives to deepen our spirituality and to take time with God and each other, discerning where our lives might lead us next. As we planned this year, we both shared the ideas we had for how we might spend our time. One longing I had was to return to Africa, and for Iain to experience Africa for himself. We left for Kenya at the end of February.

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We were placed in a community north of Nairobi called Makuyu. When we arrived, we were surprised at the size of the project there. Makuyu is a very rural village, with a huge Salesian project located at its heart. The Salesian compound is run by both Salesian Priests and Salesian Sisters. They have a parish church, two technical colleges where young people can learn a trade, a primary school, a secondary school, a children’s home, two hostels for young people and a dispensary. There is also a formation house for young women who are aspirants or postulants. It really was like staying in a Salesian village, with local children, young people and adults bringing the village alive!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 12:40

FEAST OF ST MARY MAZZARELLO

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'Main' as she was known to all in Mornese and to her friends was a woman who lived simply for the Lord. Coming as she did from a farming community where there was much dependence on the weather and on the cycle of growth through the seasons she saw our life as a coming to fullness of life in Jesus simply through the ordinary events of each day and year.

 

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Having learnt to write when she was already an adult for the sole purpose of keeping in touch with her Sisters who left very quickly for far away America, she was not one to squander either ink or words. The force of her great love for her Sisters and for the Lord can be easily seen in these few quotations.

 

"It is not words that get us to heaven, but deeds."

"I want you to be always cheerful and have much courage."

"Let us do good while there is still time. Never get discouraged, no matter what difficulties we may meet. Always say, 'Jesus must be our whole strength.'"

"I recommend that you pray, pray much and from your heart."

 

As we celebrate her feast day may the simple directness of her words inspire us to launch ourselves into the immense opportunity that being alive offers. Let is live life to the full with our hearts full of joy knowing we are loved by God.

Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:18

Pre-Chapter Meeting

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25 Sisters from the Middle East and Europe, except Spain, Portugal and Italy, gathered at the Emmaus Centre just outside Dublin to evaluate their work over the last six years and have a presentation of the Working Document for the Chapter.

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It was a really friendly meeting and with brilliant Irish hospitality as well as a visit to Glendalough all were helped to get to know each other, so at least Sr. Connie and Sr. Pat will know some people at the Chapter. Sr. Pauline led the evaluation with great creativity and was thanked for her service over the last six years.

Through our own very special form of Italian we got on famously. With the presence of Sr. Carla Castellini, representative of Mother Yvonne, we were able to enter into the document fully.

 

Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:09

St John Bosco College: New Build

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After a huge effort and despite many setbacks the new build for St. John Bosco's College, Liverpool is almost a reality reality. After just missing a new build with the Building Schools for the Future programme, and after much work trying to find other ways working closely with Merseyside Council and the local MP the long dreamed new build was given the green light.

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Building work began in the summer of 2013, the expectation is that the building and interior work will be complete so the school can open for the new scholastic year in September 2014. As can be seen from the photos the school is large and very bright both inside and out.

It is hoped that this new development in Croxteth, which builds on a long history of involvement of the Sisters with the school, will continue to provide an excellent education for the many girls who will attend the new school and benefit the local community by offering a venue for community events.

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 09:59

Provincial Assembly

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Each year the Salesian Sisters gather for a 'visioning meeting'. This year it took place at Hinsley Hall in the Diocese of Leeds during the May Bank holiday.

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Gathering from all seven houses, thirty three sisters spent time reflecting on the theme:

I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.

Ably led by our facilitator, Sr. Margaret Taylor FMM, several themes emerged for consideration among us: New ways of working with youth today, Vocations, New Projects for Communities, Community Living, Involvement with the Laity and our Salesian Family, Communication and Decision Making, Evangelisation. After thorough discussion, reflection and many interventions, proposals and actions were gathered together to be part of our action plan for the coming year.

No FMA gathering would be complete without time to relax, enjoying each other's company and the re-charge of our batteries. This year we also took the opportunity to say a huge 'Thank You' to Sr. Pauline, our outgoing Provincial, as well as spending time reflecting on and celebrating her service over the last six years.

Time just melted away and Monday May 5th found us packed and ready for the road energised, with a clearer shared vision and the certainty of the Lord's constant presence with us.

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