26th February 2013

Ballinakill Parish

Welcome Liturgy:
– Tue 26th Feb @10:30.

– Tue 26th Feb @ 11:30.

Veneration of the relic:
– Tue 26th Feb, 10:30-11:30 & after Mass until 13:30.

Heywood Community School in Ballinakill Parish was founded in 1990 following an amalgamation of three religious schools and one vocational school in the Co. Laois area.

Salesian College, Ballinakill first opened it’s doors in 1967 as a boarding and a day school for boys. Previously it had been a noviciate for young men aspiring to become members of the Salesian Order whose ethos was total dedication to the education of youth.

Portlaoise Parish Church

Welcome Liturgy:
– Tue 26th Feb @14:30.

– Tue 26th Feb @19:30 & Midnight Mass.
– Wed 27th Feb @07:30.

Veneration of the relic:
– Tue 26th Feb, from 15:00 to 19:15 & from 20:30 – through the night.

Portlaoise Parish enthusiastically welcomes this grace filled moment as an opportunity to share faith particularly reaching out to young people of whom John Bosco is patron. A special welcoming ceremony will take place at 2.30pm. Young people from Portlaoise Parish will facilitate this welcome.

Mass will take place at 7.30pm, 12 midnight and 7:30am including throughout the night an organised and prayerful night vigil will take place. All are most welcome to visit this very sacred reliquary and enjoy a unique experience in St. Peter & Paul’s.


In the video shown above, Fr. M. Casey, the Provincal of the Salesians, introduces the Don Bosco Relic Pilgrimage around Ireland and also speaks about the significance of this pilgrimage for the whole Salesian family here.  Click ‘related’ button on iCatholic player to watch other videos about Don Bosco.

More Information

for more details – www.donboscorelics.ie

A casket with the relic of Don Bosco has been on pilgrimage throughout the world since the 5th of April 2009 to prepare to celebrate the bi-centenary of Don Bosco’s birth (1815-2015).

The casket will arrive in Ireland on Saturday 23rd February 2013 and will travel throughout the island until the 7th of March 2013.

Don Bosco (1815-1888), Patron of Young People

John Bosco was born on 16th August 1815, to the east of Turin in Italy. From a very early age he decided that he would dedicate his life to helping young people. He was ordained in June 1841, anbegan his work for the poor youth of the city of Turin.

Turin in the 1800’s; Back in the early decades of the 1800’s social problems abounded in the city of Turin and it’s surrounding areas. The industrial revolution had begun and many young people were heading into the city looking for work in factories. They were often used as cheap labour and there wasn’t work for everyone so many remained unemployed. Money was scarce, accommodation was dreadful and crime escalated. The prisons were filled with boys and young men in particular. Only the elite could afford education and in 1848 there were in the city of Turin, 30,000 illiterate young people – about 40% of the population.

Into that situation came John Bosco. Part of John’s work as a priest was to visit the prisons around Turin. Here he experienced first hand the misery of many vulnerable teenagers. Their plight made a deep impression on him. He knew something had to be done about the situation, but what and how?

He adopted a novel approach. He mixed with the roughest of young people. He played cards with them in pubs and invited them to be his friends. This scandalised many of his fellow priests. Some of them actually thought his behaviour so insane that on one occasion they tried to commit him to an asylum. Overcoming problems and prejudices took time.

The Mission of Don Bosco

John’s unique ability to be at ease with the young who were homeless, illiterate and in need spurred him on. He progressed from Sunday Catechism classes in a local field, to a daily trade school in an adapted shed. Young people flocked to him for education and shelter. He fought for the rights of apprentices. His fame and his work spread. People began to see John Bosco not as someone deranged, but as an extraordinary Holy man. He was making the seemingly impossible, possible.

As his work grew, many young men came forward to help him. They became the first members of his religious congregation known as the ‘Salesians’. These young men became the core group who would further his work. Many lay people, including his mother ‘Mama Margaret’, also came to help in his work. Currently there are over 400,000 lay people working as part of the wider Salesian family. John, with the help of Mary Mazzarello, later founded the Salesian Sisters to work for the rights of girls. Don Bosco died at dawn on 31st January 1888. Following his beatification in 1929, he was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934.