College Chaplaincy

“We are called to walk alongside the young…
We are to be present with them,
accepting them wherever they are,
listening to their story, feeling their hopes and disappointments.
We move at their pace, respecting their dignity and freedom.
We seek together to become aware of the Risen One present in our lives.”
Summary of Don Bosco’s Gospel Way of working with the young by Fr Michael Winstanley SDB

Chaplaincy in Salesian College seeks to make real the vision of Don Bosco for the formation of the whole person by:

  • being a presence of hope and optimism in the lives of students and staff, especially in moments of anxiety and stress
  • working with the whole 6th form community of leadership, staff, and students to create an inclusive and welcoming environment in which each student can flourish;
  • seeking out and promoting opportunities for students and staff to develop and grow in Gospel values of generosity and empathy for those who are vulnerable and in need.

Chaplaincy builds on the two main pillars of the positive Salesian ethos of the school:

  1. In the way we treat each other and learn together

Respect

Understanding

Affection

Humour

“We all have a vocation. We believe that God has placed us in this life to fill a special need that no one else can accomplish.”
St Francis de Sales

  1. Balanced approach to learning based on
  • Reasonableness (Meet the students where they are and seek to actively engage them in their own learning and growth)
  • Religion (Focus on the Spiritual and the loving presence of God in the lives of all)
  • Loving kindness (Optimistic about everyone’s ability to grow, being helpful and supportive, and modelling kindness and understanding)

Main Activities

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying,
to run by running, to work by working.
Just so, you learn to love God and others by loving.
The daily challenge of caring and serving
will lead you to become a Master of the art”
St Francis de Sales

Regular Prayer and Reflection
Regular, well planned and heartfelt opportunities to pray and reflect together are actively promoted. Students start and finish all assemblies with a prayer. Every tutor group integrates opportunities to reflect and pray together into each session. The Chaplain produces a prayer booklet for staff to use each term based on the themes of each week.

Liturgical Life – reflecting the distinctive rhythm of College
We are a Eucharistic community which seeks to make real the values of the Gospel in the way we treat each other. The liturgical life of college is essential to maintain and deepen this.

Mass is celebrated on a Thursday each week. Masses are celebrated on Holiday of Obligations before classes and at lunchtime. There are particular Salesian Feast days – Dec 8th, Jan 31st, May 24th -on which the whole of college gathers to celebrate Mass together. Special occasions, especially the beginning and end of the academic year, are celebrated with Liturgy.

Each Friday, there is a Gospel Prayer Group that meets to reflect on a passage from the Gospels.

Each term, the focus of one week is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. These are called ‘Sort it out’ weeks and students are encouraged to make right aspects of their behaviour and attitudes that have gone wrong. The Chaplain is particularly available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Promoting Salesian distinctiveness
The Chaplain maintains a strong informal presence. He is regularly available to talk with, especially at break time, lunch and after school. This constant presence supports staff and students to deal with difficulties and misunderstandings that arise. Since the Chaplain is a member of the Salesian Religious Order, students are regularly encouraged to participate in the wider Salesian Youth Ministry Network

Outreach to the wider community
All students are encouraged and expected to be involved in at least one opportunity per year. There are volunteering opportunities during Wednesday enrichment afternoons in primary schools, care facilities, etc. There are opportunities to participate in areas of Social Justice and wider Salesian and Diocesan activities.

The Chaplain works with subject areas and clubs to integrate opportunities to deepen the formative and spiritual dimensions of the curriculum. For example, in trips to experiences such as Auschwitz in Poland.

The Chaplain promotes Diocesan opportunities, such as the Lourdes Pilgrimage during which students work as helpers.

Clubs and Groups
There are a number of clubs that are promoted through Chaplaincy; such as, the Alpha Group, the Social Justice Group