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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

Humble is how I would sum up today. Being able to watch people express their faith is an amazing privilege. The solitude of people silently praying moves me. I showed 3 children around the pilgrimage today, giving their parents time to complete it alone. I was starting to talk about Don Bosco’s dream at 9 when one of the little girls began to tell me the story and finished it. 

When I began to talk about Dominic Savio, they again got excited and told me who he was. I asked how they knew and they told me they had read it on the computer yesterday. I was in awe of the dedication their parents had in teaching their children about Don Bosco so that when they came to visit they would have a better understanding of who he was. 

I woke up this morning not wanting to get out of bed, even stating “Why? I don’t even like Young People”. Today has showed me what a terrible liar I am, leading a group around the journey was amazing and having the young people challenge me on some of the Salesian ideologies was even better. “How can you be strict and loving at the same time?”

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Another amazing day! Birmingham Catholic Youth Service (BCYS) had 30(ish) volunteers come to help us out today so we all got a chance to do something new. We got to spend the morning with a group of young people. I had good shepherd primary school they were just fab; they listened intently to the story of Don Bosco and were really inquisitive about everything, even asking how old mama Margaret was when she died. 

I spent the afternoon (after a luxury long break due to the cathedral being closed) in the cathedral crypt playing games and relaxing with All Saints secondary school from Sheffield. The day ended with a Youth Vigil which almost filled the cathedral; mass reduced me to tears which was a new and unexpected surprise. I think reflecting on the day and having a chance to think about what we have done so far and celebrating with a cathedral full of other people my age really moved me (either that or I’m just exhausted!).

 

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Posted by on in Don Bosco Pilgrimage

What an amazing, uplifting day we’ve all had. I can’t really describe what happened today but by the end I had the sense of ‘yes, that’s why we’re here’. 

The morning started with a very regimented ‘silent’ school coming to pray with the relics. To see so many young people waiting in silence, praying in silence, walking in silence was all but a little unnerving.

Just before it all got a little too intense though, a wave of energy came flowing through the cathedral in the form of 2000 Salesian school pupils from St John Bosco, Savio Salesian College, Thornleigh and All Saints Primary.

They were fantastic, and being able to be a part of their pilgrimage experience was a great honour. At one point I looked around and said: “this is real four windows stuff”. There were young people being welcomed and feeling relaxed, learning more about Don Bosco, watching magic shows and taking time to pray with Don Bosco, all under the cathedral roof! It was just a fantastic thing to witness.

I was able to top the day off by introducing my nephew to Don Bosco; he wrote a letter asking Don Bosco if he likes roses and if he would like to play games with him. I got a message in the evening saying Thomas loved the cathedral and wants to go back to visit and that he said on the way home that Jesus was his friend. 

All the end of mass we processed out of the cathedral with Don Bosco as a sign of him and us leaving cathedral, Liverpool and moving on to Birmingham. It was a great way to end a truly unbelievable day! Bring on Birmingham!

 

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The day started with a much needed late get up. When we hit the road from Savio House, everyone was buzzing with energy. There was a surprise pit stop at McDonald’s for a cheeky milkshake and then we continued on our way to Liverpool, meeting and then being overtaken by Don Bosco.

Within the Cathedral, there was a constant trickle of people including members of the press to add to the story of the pilgrimage, which can now be found in a number of newspapers and on the BBC website. At mass, the Cathedral was almost full so when it came to the end of mass, trying to control the sudden surge of people trying to get to the relics almost became a struggle. It was a day full of wonderful conversations about how Don Bosco and the Salesians in the UK have been a part of people’s lives.

Highlight: Getting to spend time with 2 young boys, having flag races and talking about magic and then being told by one of them “it was nice to meet you”

 

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Another early start and another early morning lunch run. I wonder what the shop assitants are thinking when a crowd of people invade their shops. However, I learnt today that it is not the first time crowds of people have invaded Carfin in the name of Don Bosco! In the 1930s, a statue of Don Bosco was unveiled at the pilgrimage site. Back then, 2000 people turned up and today we had 562 come to take part in our pilgrimage journey.

There was quite a lot of young people who came to visit who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. One young person in particular circled the entire pathway of the pilgrimage pathway at least 3 times.

Tomorrow we’re in Liverpool (woo hoo!!) which is going to be amazing, taking Don Bosco to meet the family is so exciting!

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DON BOSCO TODAY

Spring 2019

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