What might I get out of this experience?
Being able of doing something to make a difference in another person’s life, as well being impacted by those you were able to help, becoming a more open minded person, being able to see things in a new light. You will get a lot of experience to work in anywhere.
What input can I have into where I will go?
It is definitely difficult to trust God especially because we live in an organized society. However, missionaries must rely on God and have faith in where He might send you, because He ultimately knows where you could best be of help. In addition to that, your gifts will be taken into consideration before you are sent to a particular mission/community. Therefore, your experience will be beneficial for the mission as well.
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
No, but you must be open to learn new languages.
How can I prepare myself?
There are many ways to be prepared. The most important one is to be involved in your parish community because you can acquire skills that will help in your mission.
You can participate in missionary experiences like in Tijuana, and Christmas Mission trips provided by the Salesian Volunteer Program. This will help you to be exposed to what is Salesian Spirituality and what the Salesian Oratory is all about.
Finally, you should attend retreats (discernment weekends) sponsored by the Salesian communities and the Salesian Volunteer Program. Information for these activities will be provided by the Province Volunteer Coordinator.
What is difference between the Salesian Volunteer Program compared to other volunteer programs?
The Salesian Volunteer Program is based on the Salesian Charism, which is working with youth in particular, poor and abandoned. This was in a dream of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, when he was nine years old.
How long must I volunteer for?
You should be able to volunteer in short mission trips that can last a weekend, a week or two, the summer season or an entire year.
I am really considering being a Volunteer but I am still not sure. Is there someone I can talk to who can help me decide?
YES, there are former volunteers who are willing to talk about their experiences and share how their time in the missions changed their lives. You can connect with them by contacting the Volunteer Office.
Are my parents involved in my decision process?
YES! Support of family is very important in order to make your missionary experience positive.
If I decide to become a volunteer for a year, I will miss a year of college. How will that help?
When you work in the mission, you will learn new skills. These skills could help you to excel in college. It might give you a new perspective in looking to your future can be, maybe help you decide on a specific career path. You should not look at this as skipping a year in college but an opportunity to define my future.
Should I be “very” spiritual or religious in order to become a Volunteer?
No, duties at the mission are usually very basic. you must be ready to be available to do wherever is need it, such as cleaning restrooms, moving furniture, teaching catechesis, leading a youth group, telling stories, teaching a song, etc.
Who exactly is Don Bosco?
Don Bosco (aka St. John Bosco) is the founder of the Salesian Congregation of priests, brothers, nuns, and lay people who are present over 128 nations. The Salesian Charism is working with young people especially poor and abandoned. The life of John Bosco is available in print, photos and videos. You read his story here: www.donboscowest.org/saints/donbosco.