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Retreats at Savio House

Savio House offers 1-day and 3-day retreats to young people between ages 11 - 18 and each retreat programme is written tailored for the age and experiences of the young people. 


Our retreats are led with Salesian spirituality. Don Bosco looked at his work with young people through a window with four different window panes. He wanted his youth work to involve a school, a church, a playground and a home, all focused on young people. The vital part of this four-fold pattern was balance. No young person was pushed to pursue one at the expense of the other. If he saw a young person constantly in church and never in the playground he became concerned. If a young person was regularly alone and did not feel at home with the rest of the young people he wanted to find out why. If a young person was always studying and not spending time with his friends he would talk to his teachers and try to balance things up.

Don Bosco was using this fourfold approach to young people as a way of seeing into their world. Like St Francis de Sales, he knew that young people needed to run and make noise and burn off energy, but he also knew that they had a deep capacity for spirituality which many adults overlook. He knew that young people needed to learn but also recognised that they did this best in a safe and homely atmosphere. In Don Bosco’s vision then, a child needed a school, a church, a playground and a home.

Today the truth of Don Bosco’s insight is as relevant as ever. 

We change the words slightly, changing them from concrete places like church, school, playground and home to four active words that can help us see more clearly into the increasing variety of situations in which we meet young people today. Here is our translation of Don Bosco’s four words:

  • Home=Belonging

  • School=Learning

  • Church=Meaning

  • Playground=Celebrating


Using these four words we transfer Don Bosco’s insight into our own Salesian work with young people.

Some of our retreat themes include: 

Bridges: We invite the young people to consider how we can build bridges between one another, and the different relationships we all have with different people. We also invite them to consider the different ways that bridges may become broken. (Year 7/8)


Water: We invite the young people to look beyond and beneath the surface of their lives; dealing with the contrasts between how others may perceive them on a surface level, to the person that they are on the inside and the experiences that they may have had. (Year 9/10)


Journeys: We invite the young people to look at life as a journey, and consider the different paths that our lives can take by considering the paths of others. (Year 11)

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