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1.INTRODUCTION: following my last report time has moved very quickly. I had some sickness during the week and hardly ate for three days but am much better now thank God. I resisted the temptation to visit the hospital because I had medicines with me- need I say more. I will try to give you a flavour of life here in Moshi.

2.TYPICAL DAY: the Brothers rise at 6.00 most days followed by meditation, morning prayer then mass. I have been sleeping longer than usual – must be the heat- so I usually join them for mass. I then go up to the school to meet the children before their Assembly which is at 7.55am. I have already had a couple of inputs. I then return to the college for some breakfast- usually toast and tea but on Fridays we get a boiled egg for some reason! I then do some prep work for my English teaching lessons to the 21 First Year Brothers. I have three lessons each week for 1.5 hours each. I have had to plan a programme helped by an initial self assessment exercise I gave them. I give a weekly test and a weekly homework on Fridays. Marking and prep takes up most of my time. Their scores will count towards their final degree so I have to be pretty conscientious.

Lunch is at 1.15 and supper at 8.00. In between these times a variety of things can happen. There is a chance for a little rest ( yes believe it or not) and maybe a little walk then a bus ride into town, maybe a beer on the way back. There is Rosary together early evening and evening prayer before dinner. After dinner we have night prayers and the traditional Salesian "Good night" – which I was asked to give twice last week.

This week the 3rd year Brothers went to Dar as Salaam including a day trip to Zanzibar staying with the Salesians in Oyster Bay. On Saturday they had a Salesian family day as we had in Chertsey as part of the Bi Centenary Celebrations of Don Bosco's birth. The 2nd Year Brothers are all on teaching practice during this semester so this week I have got to know the First years quite well. We have had the Novena to Don Bosco and they copied my leaflet for the purpose. On Friday the school had its weekly mass and the big surprise was a first year girl reading the First Reading. Her English was perfect. Fr. Philip, the Administrator saying mass complimented her at the start of his homily and we all clapped for her. Later in the day I gave her a gift of a spare white Rosary Beads I had been given. This morning in Assembly, Fr. Delphinus, the Head praised her and gave her some exercise books and pens

3. SPORT: as you might expect the brothers are sport mad – they each have their favourite English premier team- one in particular supports Liverpool so you can imagine my delight and his dismay when Bolton drew 0-0 in the FA Cup which I managed to watch live At the moment though it is all about the African Nations Cup with great rivalry being displayed as they get to watch most of the games in between times

I did suggest that the school organised themselves into the 16 nations but the numbers have been slow to pick up since they returned on 13th January so it has not taken off. Today it looked as though most are now back –they were not allowed until fees had been paid.

4.FEASTDAYS: this month has really been one Feast after another including Blessed Laura Vicuna and St Francis of Sales. We still have Don Bosco's Feast day on Saturday 31st – more about that later.

5.GIFTS TO THE SCHOOL: I have been waiting for my two DHL boxes to arrive after several days delay. The small one containing 300 mass leaflets in English from the CTS arrived today but we had to pay custom duty on them – fortunately there was money to pay from the cash I gave the Rector from the monies I had received in Truro and elsewhere. It has been a learning curve dealing with DHL- I have made 3 visits to their depot in Moshi only to be told the box was in Dar. If I had to do it again I would only bring what my 2x20kgm allowance would allow me and then use the money to buy things here – hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The other big box is another story! It arrived in Belgium eventually and then was sent back to my home address because some powdered paint was leaking from the box. My wife, Maria, has kindly had to handle the situation and is claiming the money back because the staff in Staples Truro supervised the packaging so we have a good case ( I hope). If so then Maria will send the box again.

6. THE RECTOR: Fr. Augustine has been away a few days for a holiday and for the wedding of his niece in India, We expect him back before Don Bosco's Feastday. He and I will need to have a meeting soon regarding the planned extensions to the school so that I have a very clear picture in order to assist my fundraising when I return to the UK.

7. CONCLUSION: I will finish now hoping you are all well whatever the weather, We do not talk about the weather here as it is always the same – we have to look for other ice breakers ( if you will pardon the pun).

So cheerio for now and take care. Let us keep each other in our prayers.

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This is my last installment from the XXIII FMA Chapter, which actually concluded on Saturday 15th November with a wonderful mass celebrated by the Rector Major, Don Angel. He has accompanied us at various times over the last two months. Using the icon of Emmaus which was presented in the Working Document and re-chosen to accompany the Chapter Document, 'Broaden your horizons... With the young...' he re-connected our Chapter journey to that of the disciples asking us to do as they did after their encounter with Jesus...leave without haste for our provinces and communities to share the Chapter journey.

To be honest the whole experience has been one of communion, friendship and seeing our FMA family with a worldwide view. As the departures started on Sunday and Monday there was a definite delight to be going home and a sense of looking to the future mingled with a sense that we had shared a very unique experience and had come to know each other and our various realities very well indeed.


We invite you to join us, as we share the Chapter findings, insights, suggestions and choices which came to birth as the 194 Chapter members looked at challenges presented today in our work for the young and the necessary changes of mentality required to meet needs and make choices.

Sr. Connie and myself will be sharing the Chapter journey in four places up and down the country. All members of the Salesian Family are welcome just let us know so we can have enough tea ready to share as well as some great insights into our wonderful FMA journey...

Have you heard?

We have only been home a week and already we have shared the Good News of the XXIII FMA Chapter with the help of Becky who also attended our Chapter along with Adelle.


We had great meetings in Battersea on Saturday 22nd November, in the lovely newly refurbished Sacred Heart Parish Centre and where 45-50 members of our Salesian Family attended and on Sunday 23rd November in the lovely Elmthorpe Community setting, between 50-55 members of our Salesian family attended! There was a great buzz and energy around! There was a great response as we shared the challenges, changes and choices which emerged from our Chapter. We are looking forward to sharing our message with our Salesian Family north of the border. Our next two venues are in Blundellsands, Liverpool on December 4th from 7.00pm-9.00pm and in Newlands, Glasgow on December 10th from 7.00pm-9.00pm. If you live in those areas why not get in touch and come along. To be honest it is a case of 'miss it...miss out' big time and we wouldn't want that!

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We’re currently in the process of moving our office up to Bolton, so we’re sorry for the lack of updates lately. Sadly, this will probably continue for the next few weeks. But hopefully by Mid-September we should be back up and running at 100%. So thanks in advance for bearing with us.

Anyway, it’s been a while since we had Bob’s “Ramblings from Rome”, so we thought that we would let people know, what we have planned for the next few months.

Next week, Salesians from all walks of life, across Great Britain, will come together in Turin, Italy to visit the birthplace of St John Bosco.

Salesian Link are taking a team of 5 people (thanks to Sam Legg, Luke McIntosh and Tom Sellars for helping us out) to cover all the events happening in Turin.

We will be taking photos of the events as they happen and hope to stream videos of the Masses at the end of the day. Keep an eye out on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, the Website and RuaLink for more information. It won’t be live because we’re overseas and don’t have that kind of equipment or budget.

We will also be sending out RuaLink on Saturday and Sunday evenings with a news and photographic summary of what happened that day, and we will also be using this blog to get the views of some of the pilgrims from Youth Ministry about their feelings and experiences and offering a reflective view of the pilgrimage.

We also hope to have our first “podcast” while in Turin too. This will include comments from a cross-section of the pilgrims that have travelled to Turin. The podcast will include conversations from a cross-section of pilgrims as well as reflections and comments.

When we come back we will be uploading our videos to YouTube so you won’t miss anything that we do.

After the pilgrimage to Turin, we will then be covering the two Masses of Thanksgiving in Southwark and Glasgow and we aim to stream these too again after they have taken place. 

There is also the Bi-Centenary Expo to look forward to. The Bi-Centenary Expo will contain a fantastic theatrical piece by the RISE theatre on the vision of Don Bosco. The Expo will also have a contemporary prayer service and an exhibition of photographs on the theme of “Vision of Life”. We hope to give you the details of where the Expo will be travelling to and when it will be there as soon as we possibly can.

Hopefully that will give you a little taste of what is coming up. You can find a list of the official Bi-Centenary events here.

Also in March 2015, Flame 2 is taking place at Wembley Arena and the Salesians will be going again! If you want to go, then contact Sue at Salesian Youth Ministry, ( and she will be able to sell you some tickets.

It was a fantastic event and a brilliant experience in 2012 and it promises to be just as fantastic in March! So if you’re able to make it down to London then you won’t regret it!

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Spring 2019

Don Bosco Today Spring 2019 (200x285) Low Res Page 01

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