Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: January 09, 2018

(Crux) Preparing for pope, young Chileans say they’re glad he wants their views

SANTIAGO, CHILE

Jan. 8, 2018

(Excerpt) The playground at the Salesian-run school is filled with children in brightly colored swimsuits, laughing and screaming as young Catholic volunteers spray them with water in the 100-degree summer sunshine.

The children range in age from 6 to 12. They are participating in a weeklong summer camp, which helps children from vulnerable backgrounds have fun during their summer vacation and brings them closer to the Catholic Church in preparation for Pope Francis’s Jan. 15-18 visit.

Dressed in shorts and a green top, Carolina Alfaro is the pastoral leader at the school and helps run the camp. The school is in a poor community, where many of the parents are in prison for stealing or drug dealing. Many of the children think the only way to make a living is through crime.

“Social action is the way to connect with these children. We need to show them that we care about them and believe in them and build up their low self-esteem. Every day, I ask them how they are, how their family is getting on and how they are doing at school,” Alfaro told Catholic News Service.

See the full Catholic News Service article by Jane Chambers: Preparing for pope, young Chileans say they’re glad he wants their views

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