Youth Ministry Office March Recap 2023

Written by the Province Salesian Youth Ministry Office USA West

Gina Robles and Marisol Becerra

Youth Center Commission Meetings

In March, there were two meetings with the youth centers commission from our province. The first meeting was on March 8th via Zoom and the second meeting was on March 22nd in person in Sts. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco, CA. These meetings were based on the revision of the strategic planning of the province (Province Organic Plan and Pastoral Plan) with a focus to create pastoral/implementation, shaping and monitoring the progress of the plan, measuring (communicating and celebrating progress), and evaluating and improving structures (presences). Another constant theme in this meeting has been around a change of mentality, a growth mindset. Fr. Mel Trinidad, our provincial, also shared the priorities and different projects happening in the province. During the meeting, the need to strengthen the Salesian identity throughout the province was emphasized. The second part of the meeting was focused on an updated reflection on the oratory/youth center section in the Salesian youth ministry frame of reference. This final reflection will be sent to the congregation in Rome.

Parish Commission Meeting

On March 9th, the first in-person meeting for the parish commission took place at St. Dominic Savio Parish in Bellflower, CA. The pastors from our various Salesian parishes and the province youth ministry office gathered to share moments of prayer and reflection, best practices, and updates on the Province to continue the reflection on the parishes and shrines entrusted to the Salesians in the Frame of Reference. Fr. Mel Trinidad, our provincial, led the review of the Province’s Organic Plan and the Pastoral Plan. He also emphasized the need to work together and the strengthening and renewal of the Salesian mission.

Coordinators of Youth Ministry Annual Retreat

From March 10th to March 12 we held our second annual CYM retreat at St. Joseph’s Retreat Center in Rosemead California. It was a weekend of sharing, reflection, prayer, and fun. We shared with one another the realities of the different communities in the province. We all had the opportunity to be part of the annual Salesian Mission Day gathering via Zoom during the weekend. Fr. Mel Trinidad gave the first session of the retreat, “SDBs and Lay People working together as Partners in Mission.” We had the opportunity to reflect on the province’s areas of focus; Salesian Mission, Salesian Identity, Accountability, and  Vocation. We shared with one another the challenges in ministry in these four areas and the positive changes we have seen in the communities in these areas. The CYM’s that attended were Mr. Juan Carlos Montenegro, CYM at St. Dominic Savio Parish, Bellflower, Mr. Rudy Herrera, CYM at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Rosemead, Mr. Luis Chacon, CYM representative at Bishop Mora Salesian High School, Los Angeles, Mr. Adrian Fulay, CYM at Salesian College Prep, Richmond, Mrs. Shannon McLeod, CYM at St. Francis HS, Watsonville, Mrs. Miriam Hernandez, CYM at Salesian Family Youth Center, Los Angeles, Mrs. Gina Battad CYM at Corpus Christi, San Francisco. We also were joined by Fr. Jim Nieblas director of Salesian Community Los Angeles and Fr. Mel Trinidad our provincial.

World Youth Day Formation Meeting

On March 15th, the province youth ministry office led a World Youth Day formation meeting in preparation for this trip. This meeting was focused on journeying and praying for others as we prepare for World Youth Day. The formation of our pilgrimage reminds us that true joy is in the gift we make of ourselves for others. Please continue to pray for all the participants, coordinators, and volunteers who will be making this journey this Summer.

SYLC Social Communications Team

On March 16th, there was a SYLC communications team meeting to prepare for the SYLC conference in June. The purpose of this team is to work with the director and the executive team of the conference to ensure each day of SYLC is captured in photos and video clips of the young people attending SYLC, and create a social communication structure that is well organized for the conference. The goal of this team is to create social media content for SYLC and generate content following the annual communication plan after the conference is finished. The hope is that the message of SYLC in preparing young people to be leaders in their communities is able to reach more people and guide others to live out Salesian spirituality in their daily lives.

Province Youth Ministry Team Meeting

The PYMT Meeting took place on March 18th via Zoom from 10 AM-12 PM. This meeting was focused on reviewing the strategic plan of the province and introducing and assigning the youth ministry department projects to the team. The projects focus on the four priorities based on the Province’s Organic Plan. The priorities include the Salesian Charismatic Identity, Our Salesian formation, Accountability, and Vocations. There was also a time to reflect on the job description for the coordinator of vocations to help assist Fr. Vien Nguyen and the vocations team in this process. The meeting concluded with brief department updates and a closing prayer. 

SYLC Second Spirit Team Retreat

The second SYLC Spirit team retreat took place from March 31st to April 2nd at St. Joseph’s retreat center in Rosemead, CA. This retreat was focused on working in preparation for SYLC 2023. Roles and responsibilities were assigned to the team to practice for the conference. The spirit team also had an opportunity to prepare writing their good mornings, prayers, practice for skits, and special socials during SYLC. On the last day of the retreat, the team celebrated the start of holy week with the mass for Palm Sunday. It was a beautiful and fruitful weekend spent in joy, preparation, and fellowship.