Summer Brings Fun at Brady Faith Center
Children laughing, warm wind blowing, chalk scraping, balls bouncing, leaders calling – these are the sounds of Brady Faith Center in the summer. Our youth stay connected as children and grandchildren participate in one or more of the summer programs Brady offers kids and teens: Vacation Bible School (VBS), the Norma Triche Basketball Clinic, and Summer Servants.
About 35 children, ages 5-12, attend VBS at Brady Faith Center. VBS is one of the few programs in the area that runs for five weeks in the summer, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily. Counselors and kids pour in and out of the doors, onto the lawn and under tents transforming the space into a welcoming, playful and educational landscape. Neighbors traveling down South Ave. instantly realize the love of God mixed with the controlled chaos that invades the Brady Faith Center. There are morning Bible lessons, arts and crafts, music and games. The afternoons are filled with field trips to the library, pool, park, and garden. At the end of the day the children head home tired and fulfilled.
Now in its 11th year the Norma Triche Basketball Clinic is a skills and character building program that’s become a centerpiece of Brady Faith programming. Created by SU Basketball great Howard Triche, the camp is held each year in memory of Triche’s mother who was a longtime member of the Southside Community and Brady Faith Center. Howard personally leads the program that includes coaches Melvin Triche Jr., Alshwan Hymes, Robin Maier. Over the years over 300 young boys and girls have participated in the camp which is held across the street at the Southwest Community Center. The Brady Faith Center is grateful for all the sponsors that help make the program a success including: Southwest Community Center, Most Holy Rosary, Holy Shirt and Dick’s Sporting Goods. This year’s camp runs from Monday, June 26th thru Thursday, June 29th.
Throughout the years the youth of the Brady Faith Center evolve and grow in spirit and in relationship. The Youth and Family Outreach programs run on Saturdays throughout the year for children 5-12. They graduate from this program into our youth leadership program which includes the First Steppers and Justice Walkers programs. First Steppers are exposed to dialogues, outreach projects, field trips, community and God. The Justice Walkers further this focus through service projects which benefit our community. The Justice Walkers join other teens from parishes and youth groups from throughout our community in the Summer Servants program. It’s an intense weeklong retreat focused on connecting the youth with the less fortunate of our community. They complete service, participate in team building activities, and hear witness and testimony from Brady executive director Kevin Frank and other community speakers. The experience is nothing less than transformational, leaving the impressionable teens with a renewed sense of God and God’s great works.
Southside youth forward to summer, not just for the break from school but also because of our exciting programs which are filled with camaraderie and summer fun.
Q: How old were you when you were first introduced to Brady Faith Center and which programs were you involved with?
Tony: I was nine when I started at Brady. I am now 17. I have been involved in VBS, YFO as a teen leader, the Leadership programs, and last year’s Summer Servants program.
Alonzo: I was about 11 years old. I’m now going on 18. I’ve been involved in VBS, Summer Servants, The Norma Triche Basketball Clinic, and Servant and Teen Leadership Program.
Q: Have you volunteered for any of the programs that you were once a part of? How was that experience?
Alonzo: Three: Yes, I have, honestly, it was a good experience it helped me grow a lot.
Q: How has the Brady Faith Center and its summer programs affected you and your community?
Tony: Participating in Brady Faith programs has really kept me off the streets. Instead of wandering around I learned to do my homework. Brady has helped me keep my grades and my behavior in check. I think my community would be worse without the Brady Faith Center, because it offers something for kids to do on Saturdays and in the summer daytime and it even offers a community and support for homeless people. Having Brady in the community is good because it lets you know you’re always going to have someone to lean on.
Alonzo: My participation in Brady summer programs has kept me safe and changed the way I behave in my community all the time! My neighborhood would be a lot worse if the Brady Faith Center wasn’t around because there wouldn’t be anyone in the community that cared so much about it.
Q: Name at least three things Brady has taught you?
Tony: Respect, responsibility and punctuality
Alonzo: Respect, Responsibility and Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.
Q: If you had unlimited resources, connections and power what is the first thing you would do for Brady FC?
Tony: I would build a bigger church
Alonzo: Make the Brady Faith Center bigger and give money to the center for funding and community outreach programs
Q: What has Brady instilled in you that you pay forward to your family and community?
Tony: A respect for LIFE
Alonzo: Love, and the ability to have a relationship with a person