At one of our recent staff meetings the Don Bosco Center staff dubbed the week of January 20 “Mega Week”. Why? I am so glad you asked! On Monday, January 21 we did not have regular Don Bosco Center (DBC). Instead, since they were off school, we took our group to ice skate at the Fairfax Ice Arena. Most of our group of thirty-four donned skates while a couple decided they would watch from the sidelines. Some skated for a bit and decided they had enough while others skated to the very end. Most had a good time even if some falling was involved. Afterwards we took a trip to CiCi’s Pizza and almost put them out of business. A couple kids even used some of their own money to order wings…I guess the all you can eat pizza buffet wasn’t enough!
On Wednesday, January 23 we had DBC at regular time which is 3pm to 6pm. However, there was a special celebration that day. It would have been the eighteenth birthday of Miguel Hernandez. He was a regular at the DBC but is not with us now because he was killed while walking home from school two and a half years ago. His mom wanted to celebrate with us at the Center so she came at 5pm and brought food and drinks for the celebration. Fr. Ramon led a prayer service for Miguel in front of his memorial. At the end of the service Miguel’s sister gave out birthday balloons. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Miguel, let the balloons go, and watched them rise into the sky. Then we went inside and enjoyed the food and drinks.
On Friday, January 25 we took a group to the March for Life. We had some who had come before and were excited to go again and some who were going for the first time. This was a great opportunity to talk about why we believe that all life is sacred and also led them to ask other questions about what we believe as Catholics. We even were able to do part of a novena to St. John Bosco in the van on the way and listen to some Matt Maher music.
Then on Saturday, January 26 Fr. Ramon, Matt, and Mike took a group to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. They toured the classrooms, talked to them about what it was like to be in the Academy, encouraged them to pursue their goals, and played soccer! I heard that a fun time was had by all. This past week one of the guys who went asked me when we were going again!
All in all it was a fun-filled week for the Don Bosco Center…and I didn’t even mention that on that Wednesday Matt and I moved a bed and dresser into a family’s house and on Thursday Fr. Ramon took four seniors and two recent graduates to a leading restaurant in Maryland where they met the staff, talked with the owner, learned about culinary arts, and then went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC for the Pro-Life Vigil Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap, from the Archdiocese of Boston (whom they met afterwards). It was definitely a “Mega Week”!