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St Mary's University

The inaugural lecture of Professor John Lydon

Date: Tuesday 26th September 2023

Time: 6pm to 6pm

Venue: Waldegrave Suite, St Mary’s University

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St Mary's staff and students are invited to attend the inaugural lecture of Professor John Lydon, entitled 'The Perennial Influence of the Salesian Style of Accompaniment in Catholic Education settings – The Legacy of St John Bosco' on Tuesday 26th September in the historic Waldegrave Suite. 

About the lecture

Accompaniment constitutes a perennial theme in a Christian context, best encapsulated in the Emmaus story (Luke 22:13-35) when Jesus accompanies the two disciples on what could be described as a journey of discovery. This 'journey paradigm', which underpins many Religious Education programmes, constitutes a central feature of the Salesian education vision known as the Preventive System.

St John Bosco (1815-1888), the founder of the Salesians, was concerned with the transformation of the lives of every young person with whom he came into contact, resonating with 'the uniqueness of the individual', one of the key principles of Catholic education elucidated by the English and Welsh Bishops Conference (CBCEW, 1996, p. 1). According to one of his first Salesians, Bosco encouraged them to 'go to the pump', to meet young people where they had gathered, and to engage in a genuine encounter.

This inaugural professorial lecture will explore the extent to which this model of effective presence and encounter reflects the vision of St John Bosco. Recent scholarship will be accessed to facilitate the breaking open the concept of Salesian accompaniment in a contemporary context alongside, research evidence spanning a decade, which constitutes evidential support for the perennial impact of the Salesian education vision.

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