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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

Was on the way to London at 6am this morning, was so early. I managed to lose my diary entry for yesterday.

Southwark has been fantastic, soooo many people came to venerate the relics, it was unbelievable. We had schools in today – pupils from Chertsey and Farnborough came and again, as with the schools in Liverpool, I was grateful that they got to experience Salesianity outside of school. Hopefully the saint that looks upon them from their school walls is much more real and the charism much more tangible, seeing that Don Bosco is much more than the name of their schools.

So many more inspirational stories from people of all walks of life who have known Don Bosco throughout their lives.

I almost dropped a sail on people’s head during the final liturgy, though thankfully I managed to rescue it before any damage was done!

 

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After a very nice late start, meeting at Holy Trinity at 12, we headed to St George’s Cathedral. Another beautiful cathedral it did, however, remind me a lot of something out of Harry Potter. Whilst we were setting up, a massive queue had formed outside which snaked around the side of the cathedral for most of the afternoon. In order to stop the young people in the queue getting bored and restless, a few of us took a group each to entertain and then fastrack to the relics.

 

After being there for only a couple of hours it was clear to see that our time in Southwak was going to bring us something special.

 

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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

Today was a more eventful sort of day. To begin with, everything was the same as every other day so far: get up ridiculously early, travel, buy lunch, steward the Pilgrim Experience. 

The difference today was that we had to maintain the pilgrim journey while contending with Mass every hour - including a Latin Mass. Apart from a few disgruntled Mass attendees, all went smoothly with the team getting praised again and the journey being inspirational. 

We has mass at 2pm and as we were sitting in the middle of the cathedral, with Don Bosco, when it came to singing Friend of the Young after communion, most of us had to sprint to the front to reach the microphone and Edwin and try to sing - worked well I thought.

Don Bosco was then led out of the cathedral by the Bishop and the road crew became bodyguards! It was a little chaos trying to keep people away from the casket but we did it and as soon as we were outside, we threw away the restraints and broke into song, clapping and wooping in the piazza. 

After everything had been packed up, we raced back to Basildon, had a quick change and then went out with all the families and some of the parisioners to a Toby Carvery, courtesy of a Salesian Past-Pupil living in the Parish. The generosity and love shown to us by our host community has been amazing, don’t know why we were worried! 

Southwark tomorrow, let’s get the cards and spinning-plates out again!

 

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It has been a wonderful day! It started with a cup of tea at my door kindly provided by Raquel, my new mum for a few days. We have all been welcomed into people’s homes in Basildon whilst we’re in London and me and Jess couldn’t ask for a better host! 

I started the ‘working’ day playing splat, duck duck goose, wink murder and switch, to name a few games, with St Vincent’s Primary School. When they finally got into the cathedral, after much crowd control, they were the ones telling me about Don Bosco. They even knew about RUAH!

For the remainder of the day, I was placed at the departure stand and it has rejuvinated me when I was beginning to flag. Having people tell me how much they enjoyed the experience, how inspiring ‘it’ all is and asking how they can become involved filled me with a sense of pride in all the people that have made this happen. All the hours it took to organise have paid off. Visitors love what has been created and love the passion and enthusiasm that is on show. I think the aim of spreading the Salesian word has well and truly been accomplished. 

“Darling it’s wonderful, inspirational for evangilisation not just for Catholics, but for human beings”

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Day off today in Cardiff, I met Keith the Fish!

 

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