By Fr. Richard P. Alejunas, SDB
(Chicago, IL – July 15) – After 20 plus seasons at St. John Bosco Church, Chicago’s Camp Don Bosco extended its Salesian presence and program to a larger, more secure inner-city campus for 2021. Since July 1, 2020, the SDBs and their collaborators have animated the Valdocco Salesian Youth Ministry Center at their new apostolate at St. James Church (0.4 miles from St. John Bosco Church). The new site offers more spaces for the SYM Movement to expand its Chicago footprint and, in particular, its summer day camp.
Following a pandemic year of dramatic change, summer 2021 is replete with typical Salesian fun, family, formation, and faith! The camp is animated by three full-time SDBs (Fr. Juan Pablo Rubio, Fr. Kris Cepil, and Br. Kevin White) and a staff of 15 young adults and teen volunteers. Two hallmarks of this summer youth ministry are its in-depth youth leadership formation for staff and volunteers and its extensive financial aid program for local families in need. With the help of benefactors from Chicago and New York, over half of the camp’s 120 plus campers receive some level of assistance. More than $20,000 in camp scholarships have been awarded this season alone. Truly, Don Bosco is smiling down upon Chicago!