By Fr. Jose Lucero, SDB – Vocation Director
(California) – It’s been a blessing to be able to visit a few of our summer programs this past week. It began with visiting the Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles. It was great to see Br. Tom Mass, Br. Steve Standard, and Jonathan Lee and the young people who were having a great time. The summer program seems to be going well with the service that is being provided to the children and youth at Wabash and the 4th Street Clubs. The pool at Wabash was a great success. I was able to bring Fr. Leo with me for a visit. We had a good time seeing all the kiddos have a lot of fun.
Then I drove up to Camp St. Francis where I spent the 4th of July with the camp staff and the participants as well as day campers. It was great to see Fr. Itchan and Br. Al. The skate park was a hit and it was great to see alum from Salesian High LA as well as alum from Don Bosco Tech. Corpus Christi Day Camp came over and the entire group had mixed games and good food with hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch. Then it was beach time and afternoon games. CCC went returned after dinner. It was a lot of fun to see the groups mixing. It was great to see the Salesian Sisters at Camp Auxilium and to see the amazing activities taking place there as well.
On Tuesday I drove to Richmond and Berkeley. It was nice of the Berkeley communities to host myself and my friend Elva Moreno who accompanied me on this trip. We spent two days with the Salesian Boys & Girls Club from Richmond and were able to attend a field trip to the Academy of Sciences. There were about 130 participants. I know the number well because Elva and I prepared smores for the group which I think they really enjoyed. Fr. Thien, Br. Jhoni and Br. Paul are doing a great job with the young people in Richmond. On Tuesday evening we had the opportunity to go spend some community time and went bowling. Br. Pat Maloney joined us and we had a great time just enjoying one another’s company while bowling. On Thursday Elva and I spent the day with Fr. Chuyen where we took a day to rest and relax and enjoy some good Vietnamese food. Finally, on Friday we spent the day with Camp Corpus Christi where I was invited to give the students a talk and to say their first Mass of the camp season.
What a blessing to be able to see the wonderful work taking place with the young throughout our province. I was amazed with the young people assisting our camps as staff and was able to broach the vocation topic to a few of them. I was impressed that some of our young people serving as counselors have given a thought to a religious vocation. I remember the many years in my formation I worked at camp how much fun it was and how much I learned about what it means to be a Salesian. My formative years were such positive and amazing years for me just as our camps are formative for the young people we serve.