Thank you, Salesians 

By: JC Montenegro, PhD,
Delegate for Mission Animation

Twenty years ago, around this time, I arrived in Los Angeles and since then I have been involved with a wonderful Salesian family here. I’ve had delightful moments as well as challenging moments. In my heart, there is nothing but gratitude going out to each of the Salesians who have been part of my uniquely fantastic journey. 

I have answered my vocational call thanks to the welcoming spirit of your amazing Congregation. I remember the day Fr. Gael Sullivan, SDB met me in Ecuador. There, he invited me to come over here to go through an experience of one or two years of volunteer service at St. Dominic Savio Church. Those two years, the Salesian kindness, and the fantastic ministerial work in our province, hooked me and encouraged me to stay with Don Bosco and commit myself to share and participate in the fulfillment of his dream. 

I thank you, dear Salesians! Without your support, who knows where I would now be? You made all that I am now very possible for me! None of the work we’ve done could have been achieved without your help. We worked together to make Camp Savio grow to having over 500 participants. We also worked together to create and maintain the volunteer program in our province. The latest challenge for us now is to continue serving the children of one of the poorest presences in our province – the Salesian Family Youth Center. 

First mission trip to Tijuana in 2002

You Salesians of St John Bosco have always been there for me all through these years. One of the many gifts I have received from you is the opportunity to go to Spain and earn a doctoral degree in Sociology. When I proposed my intention to study in Spain to our Provincial Council, they approved it without hesitation. Thanks to your support, I was able to complete my studies. There we developed a whole doctoral thesis based on our volunteer program.

Who I am now is thanks to the Salesian upbringing and guidance you have given me. Thank you so much for the love and care you have shown me through all these years. Thank you for accepting me with my gifts and my imperfections. Thank you for keeping the dream of Don Bosco alive for me and for so many young people who need Don Bosco in their lives. Thank you for the blessing and gift to work with you to fulfill the Salesian mission!

Good morning at Camp Savio 2021