Missionary Experience

By: JC Montenegro
Delegate for Mission Animation

On July 29, the delegate for Missionary Animation and the preferential option met with 4 young SDBs in initial formation to evaluate their missionary summer experience in two summer camps that are held year after year in Southern California: Camp Savio based in Saint Dominic Savio, Bellflower and Camp Salesian based in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles.

At this meeting the following questions were asked: How did this summer experience help you to grow in your vocation as a Consecrated Salesian? What are the most difficult challenges you had to face during the summer? What are the lessons you learned in relation to dealing with young people and children this summer? Following these questions of a personal, vocational and missionary nature, other questions were asked in relation to the logistics and organization of each of the summer camps.

These are some phrases that were heard during said evaluation:

“Salesians without young people are not Salesians”, was one of the statements that a young man in initial formation has made after spending every day with young people from 6:30 am until 4:30 pm.

“It is good to always seek a balance between mission, prayer life and community life.”

“I am not a morning person, but directing the meditation at 6:30 to the young people has motivated me to always continue giving a little more of myself in favor of the youth”

“It does not matter where the children or families are from. , a child will always be a child and the language of love will always be the language in which we will understand each other within the Salesian charism “

” Even within the same country where we live, in the same city, always as Salesians we can find on missions. There is always a child or a young man who needs someone to guide him, to love him and to accompany him ”.

“The transformation that I have seen in the Youth Center over the years is incredible, there are always opportunities to grow and improve, but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the children as leaders that I had as campers a few years ago.”

Undoubtedly, these young Salesians have left a deep and significant mark on the lives of many of the children and young people they met during these summer camps.