By: JC Montenegro
Delegate for Mission Animation
Salesian Staff Adopt a Family for Christmas
As we eagerly begin a new year and say good-bye to 2020, a year fraught with challenges that tried us individually and as a country, I want to share a story of caring, sharing and joy. At the Salesian Family Youth Center, we strive to help youth build a healthy, whole, character driven life. Our staff do this through lessons promoting virtues like kindness and generosity of spirit. But more importantly, our staff model the behaviors that they teach and promote.
At the last administrative staff meeting of the year, Christina Mendoza, We Care Coordinator, shared an email from a mother who was struggling financially and worried that her daughters would not have a Christmas this year. Moved by her situation, the team decided to adopt the family for Christmas. The generous response from our Salesian staff purchased food for the family’s Christmas dinner and gifts for the children. The mother was overjoyed, saying, “Thank you so much for bringing us Christmas joy during this time of need and trying times.” Our Salesian team was so inspired, they want to make adopting a family an annual tradition and growing it to include more families.
Christmas Reflection by Luis Chacon
Christmas is a time to celebrate coexistence, it is the time when God himself decided to make his Word flesh to stay among us, to live together. That is why the Salesian Family Youth Center has not lagged behind in coexistence and has held the traditional “posada” or Christmas party with the children and adolescents of the We Care program.
We know these are difficult times, but even in the darkest of nights the stars shine and show us the way to Bethlehem. The stars that show us the way at the Salesian Family Youth Center are the children and young people we serve, without them our walk would not have a star that leads us to meet God in the face of the little and vulnerable.
At our Christmas party, it was not the SFYC who shone as a star for the children, it was the children’s smiles upon receiving their gifts, the pizza and cookies cooked at home by the mother of a staff member, which made our day shine. made our Salesian Family Youth Center beautiful.
Approximately 40 stars of Bethlehem were the ones we had last Friday, December 18. We watched Christmas movies, played games, ate, and smiled with our eyes. Yes, the children’s smile is so powerful that it can illuminate through the mask.
To you who read this, thank you for thinking and praying for us, wishing us good vibes and helping us with your good heart. God bless you!
Thank you so much Natalie!!!
Natalie joined our club on 2017 as a volunteer and helped with everything she could. After some time with us as a volunteer she began working as a tutor to where she worked these last 3 years as.
When she wasn’t a tutor at our after-school program during the academic year, she worked as extended care in our summer camp. She has been a wonderful part of our family here and gave so much to the kids she was with at the club. We will miss her a great amount but are happy for her new opportunity in her career and wish her the best of luck!
Our Youth celebrated the traditional posada with songs, games followed by a Eucharistic celebration and tamales togo. Teens and their families gathered (but not too close) for a special song reenacting the Bible story of Mary and St. Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay. After mass the celebration continued with games, aguinaldos (goodie bags) and food of course!
No one can deny Christmas was a little different this year. St. Mary’s Church was unable to host their yearly Christmas posadas because of social distancing regulations. Still the posadas were not cancelled, since the community could not attend the church posadas the posadas went out to the community on wheels! For three nights a live nativity float drove past many houses playing music and spreading Christmas cheer. Fr. Rafael Saiz walked the streets of Boyle Heights alongside the float blessing the homes and made a special stop to pray for our Salesian Family Youth Center.
On sunday we celebrated the Epiphany. Three members of our youth ministry dress up as the Three Wise Men to serve as a reminder to search for grace in unexpected places by opening our hearts and minds. The bible says that three magi sought out on a long journey to meet, bring gifts and worship our savior Jesus! There are moments in our lives where we may be surprised by clear signs of God’s presence in our lives. Our youth also handed out gifts to all the children after each mass.
Salesian Strenna – Move by Hope
In the Salesian world every year we focus on one topic, this year is “Hope”. I highly encourage you to watch this amazing video that talks about who we are and what we are call to be! You can vide the video in this link
We are Salesians!!! and we are transforming the lives of our young people!!!!
Thank you for being part of our family!