Meeting with Oblates Youth Group at Tijuana Mission

Gang violence and drugs are an ongoing issue with the youth of Tijuana and continue to devastate lives in the city.   One way the Oblates have responded to this difficult situation is through developing youth programs for the young people in the local parish.

Youth group and friends in Tijuana, Mexico at the Oblates' mission.
Youth group and friends in Tijuana, Mexico at the Oblates’ mission.

The San Eugenio Parish youth group in Tijuana met with our travel team and shared their life experiences and their challenges of growing up in Tijuana.

The Oblates' youth group share how the Oblates' mission had a positive impact on them.
The Oblates’ youth group share how the Oblates’ mission had a positive impact on them.
Giovanni Rodriguez shared his experiences with the gangs of Tijuana.
Giovanni Rodriguez shared his experiences with the gangs of Tijuana.

One young 23 year old man named Giovanni shared his story with us. When he was 12 years old he joined a gang. He watched as several of his friends were brutally killed from gang violence or died from drug use. After 10 of his friends died, he decided to turn his life around. Two years ago his life changed when he attended one of the youth group’s weekend retreats. The retreat totally transformed his life. Two years ago he joined the youth ministry and is now very active in it’s work. He also plans to enter the seminary and become a priest. He told us, “Thanks for your help, I have hope”.

Author: John Wagner

I work for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Belleville, Illinois in the USA. The Oblates are a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded after the French Revolution by St. Eugene De Mazenod to work among the poor. Today there are nearly 4,000 missionaries working in more than 60 countries around the world.

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