Surrey (Canada). In October 2020, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of O. L. of Good Council Community of Surrey, Canada – St. Joseph Province of the United States and Canada (SEC) – in the wake of the experience of the virtual oratory , proposed a Virtual Salesian Leadership Camp to young people aged 14 to 17.  In Circular n. 1001, Mother Yvonne Reungoat encourages the FMA and the Educating Communities to invent new ways to reach the young and walk with them during this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic:

“It is our commitment, certainly in the manner imposed by the pandemic, to be close, to shorten distances with creativity, so that their loneliness does not become isolation and dispersion, but the desire to take risks, to keep the ‘construction site of life and hope open’ in the drama of everyday life. (…) Together, adults and young people, in a network with the Church and with educational institutions in the area, it is possible to find the right path, the appropriate language to ‘get closer’.”

The preparation of the Virtual Camp, with the formula of four online meetings lasting three hours, involved, together with the FMA, a team of nine young people from previous experiences in Salesian camps and from the parish realities of the area.

The FMA House in Surrey was transformed into the base camp of the youth team that met every Friday evening in October to prepare and conduct the meetings for the participants of the Animators Camp. The young people of the team lived this experience with enthusiasm and passion, growing in understanding and love for Salesian Spirituality and gaining confidence in conducting the meetings in the virtual environment, which is the ‘new normal’ of the pandemic.

Fifteen participants were present at the online meetings of the Animators’ Camp, who were introduced to the animation techniques and the main contents of Salesian Spirituality. Salesians of Don Bosco, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and Past Pupils shared their experience and gave a Good Night. The young people of the team gave their testimony regarding Salesian animation, the style of relationships, and the care of a life of prayer. The young animators who have experienced the Camp are ready to get involved in designing and conducting the Virtual Oratory for other children.

The Virtual Animators Camp is for the FMA of the SEC Province, the beginning of a “’making way’ with the young people who in this particular time of pandemic, despite the real difficulties and precariousness, hope that something new is sprouting” (Circ. 1001).


  1. Well done, I am delighted to read about this very creative initiative. The Salesian Spirit is very much alive and active in Surrey.
    God bless you all.
    Kathleen Taylor fma


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