Our Youth

Faith, Fun in the Summertime

by Kenny Wodzanowski

Once a week, youth can find relief from the hot summer nights at the Summer Outdoor Youth Program (SOYP).

Every Tuesday night, St. Athanasius parish, Bensonhurst, invites youth and families for a night of faith and fun.

For a contribution of $1,  youth are fed physically, spiritually and mentally. Children, ages three to 18, enjoy a safe, interactive experience where they have a chance to build friendships and develop good sportsmanship.

The program is funded mainly by the contributions of the Office of the Bensonhurst  Youth Ministry cluster, St. Athanasius; St. Frances Cabrini parish, Bath Beach; SS. Simon and Jude parish, Gravesend; St. Mary, Mother of Jesus parish, Bensonhurst; and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dyker Heights.

Through the spirit of Don Bosco, this oratory atmosphere creates a great celebration of our common humanity and common faith. Older youth organize games and model sharing and caring for youth of all ages.

Among the many events organized by the program was a visit from Miss New York 2011, Caitlin Monte. She shared her story on bullying and gave the youth some helpful tips.

This marks the fourth year of the formal program.

The Bensonhurst cluster parishes also sponsor a service program on Wednesdays during the day and another outdoor program for six weeks at SS. Simon and Jude with an emphasis on sports.

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