We've all heard of talking the talk, but have you ever walked the walk?
The Salesian Gospel Roads program is your chance to walk the walk!
The Salesian Gospel Roads program began in 2001 when 28 young people gathered at the Salesian House in South Orange, NJ for the first two Gospel Roads programs. Since then, hundreds of youth have taken part in more than 30 of these week-long service retreats.
Gospel Roads is a series of Christian service retreats.
For one week, young people live and work side-by-side with other high-school and college students. They are given an opportunity to walk with Jesus Christ through service to the young and the poor in the spirit of Don Bosco, the founder of the Salesians (learn more about Don Bosco and the Salesians here).
You will walk the road set out by Jesus Christ in the Gospels.
You will learn new things about yourself, while growing closer to Christ and others. At the end of the program, you will receive a footprint pendant as a reminder to always walk the Gospel Roads.
We call them Service Retreats for a very specific reason.
The programs are not just service trips, not are they just retreats. While each day centers around service work, there is also the opportunity for daily Mass and other "retreat" elements. In addition to large and small group discussions, sharing, and reflections, the Sacraments are made available to the participants throughout the week. Every night includes an evening prayer service and a traditional Salesian "Good Night" during which a member of the adult team offers a final thought for the night. Every GR program includes at least one night with an opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration.
The focus of the program is on the service work.
Every day indludes work at a local service site. Participants have an opportunity to work directly with people in need. Service sites include soup kitchens, food pantries, crisis-pregnancy centers, summer camps, and more. After work each day, participants return to their retreat house and the discussions, reflections, and prayer services focus on the work they took part in that day.
The work doesn't end upon leaving the service sites.
Everyone is asked to chip in both before and after the service work. In addition to sharing in your small groups, participants will help in preparing and setting up for meals. They will also help to plan and lead prayer services and Masses throughout the week, picking music, readings, and reflections.
In addition to Service and Spirituality, Gospel Roads emphasizes Community.
Participants live and work together for the length of the program. Participants begin the program as complete strangers, but by the end of a week spent sharing stories, experiences, laughs, and even tears, they form lasting friendships, rooted in Jesus Christ.
You'll work hard, pray hard, and play hard!
Gospel Roads combines service, faith, and fun. Participants can expect to have plenty of fun, too. Each day has plenty of recreation time to play and enjoy one another's company.
Each program is run by a team of well-trained and well-formed young adults.
They are assisted by a "young team" that consists of youth that recently participated in the program.
If you have other questions about the Salesian Gospel Roads program,
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.