Seven Salesian students contributed to this year's celebrations of the Bicentenary of the birth of St John Bosco in September. They joined representatives of all sorts of different Salesian groups, such as schools and parishes, for a Mass of Thanskgiving at St. George's Catholic Cathedral in Southwark to mark the life and work of the Salesian founder.
A dedicated team of volunteers greeted our pupils at the door of the Cathedral. Two representatives of each Salesian school were invited to join the entrance ceremony holding banners aloft whilst the Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, processed into the cathedral accompanied by his auxiliary bishops. The sermon was preached by Fr. Martin Coyle, Salesian Provincial of the UK congregation. A number of Salesian priests celebrated the Mass assisted by deacons of the archdiocese, while pupils brought up the offertory gifts.
The choice of music was excellent and appealed to a broad range of tastes. The musicians were accomplished and were able to support and lift the congregation in singing, aided by the excellent acoustics of the cathedral. Afterwards, all were invited to attend a reception in the adjacent Amigo Hall, where refreshments were available. The Salesian "Vision of Life" art exhibition was also on view, where Amy Martin, a pupil of our school in Chertsey, had her work displayed (See page 32 of last summer's newsletter for examples of our students' work).
Finally, a word of thanks to Ms. Carlile, Fr. Andrew, Br. Marcin and Br. Augustine without whose presence this trip would not have been possible and to the pupils themselves, who made us feel proud.