Urged by Pope Francis' message for World Mission Day 2021, which invites us not to close our hearts to the material and spiritual needs of others despite the pandemic, and strengthened by the theme "We cannot be silent about what we have seen and heard!" (At.4.6), the Salesians of Vilnius, together with a sister of the Salesian Family, 27 animators of the oratory and seven Italian volunteers of the Missionary Animation of the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, plus their Salesian companion, formed a solid and cohesive animation group for all the activities of the daytime summer center. All together they committed themselves to bear witness with Salesian life and joy that it is possible to break down the barriers of fear and uncontrolled closure.
The children were divided into 4 groups according to age, which could not interact with each other, for safety reasons, so as to form, in practice, almost 4 parallel summer camps at the same time. Sports, workshops, large organized games and even nature walks around the city were featured.
“Every day, moreover, there was a moment of prayer in the church in which a parable of Jesus was explained and updated: the common thread was the hope that comes from the personal relationship between Jesus and the disciple. He seeks us, we seek him. And then? We witness it among friends, because we cannot be silent ...!" explained Fr Alessandro Barelli, a Salesian missionary in Lithuania.
And to top it off, every day the activities ended with an ice cream for each, funded by the Municipality of Vilnius through a project involving children.
After the Summer Center, activities continue in August as well, with various shifts at the summer house near Lake Tverecius in a wooded region where the Salesians have a holiday home. The Italian animators, instead, are to join the summer activities of the newly erected Salesian community of Telsiai in the Samogitian region towards the Baltic Sea.