Vatican - "Giant Dreams" of Youth Summer Camp in the Vatican

20 July 2022

(ANS - Vatican City) - Two years ago, in 2020, Pope Francis asked the Salesians, true professionals in the field, to coordinate the Youth Summer Camp in the Vatican, an initiative aimed at the families of the Holy See's employees, to give children the experience of a summer oratory within the Vatican walls. The initiative was so successful that it was repeated again in 2021 and this year is now in its third edition.

Estate Ragazzi in Vaticano, the youth summer camp, began last July 4 and will continue until August 5. During this month, many children will be able to take part in the summer oratory, in dedicated spaces equipped to carry out play and recreational activities.

It is, as said, an initiative much desired by Pope Francis and promoted by the State Governorate, to offer the children of employees between the ages of 5 and 13 a five-week experience of formation in an atmosphere of festivity and strong sharing of Christian values.

The animation is taken care of by a team of Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, animators belonging to the "Tutto in una festa" association, and teenage animators who want to get involved in an experience of service for younger children. This last presence is this year’s great novelty as, for the first time, the transition from "being animated" to assistant-animators has been created, a decisive and charismatic step to making this experience a true oratory with the style of Don Bosco.

This year’s theme is "Giant Dreams," inspired by the children's book "Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl. At the center of the educational proposal, they decided to place the dreams of each of the children and the accompaniment of Jesus in their difficult realization, encouraging them to look a little further, beyond the daily challenges of life.

John Bosco is the perfect example of a boy who believed God's dreams, becoming a priest, and dedicating his entire life to his young people. Each week, in fact, as an example of a "giant" dream, one will be offered by a master or teacher in the field, namely Don Bosco. His stories still make today's youngsters grow and make them understand that one should not be afraid to do big things, to bring joy in every moment of the day, to be kind even after a defeat, to come up with brilliant ideas, to generate genuine friendships and to learn through play... A beautiful program of and for life!

The Salesian community in the Vatican has been present since 1937 and was canonically erected on April 12, 1946. Today it is incorporated among the communities of the Rector Major (RMG), for which he is directly responsible. In addition to the Rector, there is Fr. Franco Fontana, chaplain of the Gendarmerie and the Vatican Museums, the Vicar, Fr. Mauro Mantovani, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Salesian Pontifical University, the Economer, Mr. Roberto Bava, who works in the Office of the Vatican Secretary of State, Counselor Fr. Kureethadam Joshtrom, who serves in the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, Fr. Miguel Angel Ruíz Espinola, who serves in the first section of the Holy See's Secretariat of State, and Fr. Padinjarathala Anton Paul, who works in Propaganda Fide.

The Salesian presence in the Vatican highlights the ecclesial dimension and a strong sense of belonging and availability to the Universal Church, where each one offers his service for the good of the Church.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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