by Fr. Mike Pace, SDB, and Jerry Rice
On Saturday, September 15, two dozen young people came to the aid of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Orange, N.J. The occasion was a Gospel Roads reunion, the brainstorm of Jackie Rivas-Tejada, a young OLV parishioner who took part in Gospel Roads New Rochelle during the summer, and Jerry Rice, a Salesian prenovice.
The event was hosted by the 2018 young camp staff of Camp Don Bosco in the Valley and was facilitated by the Salesian formation community of Orange. Three members of the Community of St. John in East Orange—Bro. John Timothy, Bro. John Paul, and novice Mitch—also joined the activity and remained for dinner and a bonfire. The day included service projects, beautification of the property, Eucharistic adoration, sacramental Reconciliation, participation in the GC28 survey, Mass, and two meals.
The Salesians in initial formation shared in the day: some in the work periods, others preparing the meals and tending to all the details of hospitality. The day’s organizers were grateful for Bro. Sal Sammarco’s expertise and leadership with work tools, Bro. Tom Sweeney’s assistance throughout the day, Deacon Eduardo Chincha’s ministry as presider at Eucharistic adoration, Fr. Paul Chu’s presence as confessor, Fr. Frank Twardzik’s attention to the volunteers at Our Lady of the Valley’s evening Mass, Fr. Dominic Tran for the Good Night, and Fr. Miguel Suarez, pastor, for giving them the opportunity to be of service.