07 Feb 2019
New Jersey: Feast of St. John Bosco in the Valley – Orange
by Bro. Dan Glass, SDB
(Orange, N.J. – February 3) – On January 26, Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Orange celebrated the feast of Don Bosco for the first time ever as an oratory-CCD program. Every Saturday about 120 kids have been coming for the parish’s new oratory program. In addition to classes preparing the young for the sacraments, the program consists of an “oratory component” in which the students are involved in organized activities such as arts and crafts, “brain games,” team-building games, or various competitions.
For the feast day, the Mass of St. John Bosco was celebrated with for all the students, followed by a carnival in which the kids could win tickets to be traded in for prizes. About ten game stations were set up, led by both lay catechists and Salesian brothers in initial formation. Games included candy races, soccer, and dodgeball, among others. One of the most popular games was an Oreo race, in which players raced to move an Oreo from their forehead to their mouth without using hands. One of the most popular prizes to be won was face painting—so popular that kids were in line up to an hour after the oratory officially ended!
As the oratory-CCD program continues to grow, the youths in Our Lady of the Valley Parish are seeing and learning more about the dream and mission of Don Bosco, “Run, jump and play, but do not sin.” The spirit of this new oratory program has been positive, which was well exemplified as the community celebrated their patron!