On December 14, 2019 the NorCal Youth Program came to Pine Grove for the first time in DJJ history. Here at PGYCC youth come to serve out their remaining time on their sentence to the community of the state of California. Along with CalFire these young men risk their lives to save families, personal property, and homes by going into the fires. And during this time some of these young men go through years without having any physical contact from family members, due to lack of transportation, funds or perhaps both.
So through fundraising and personal donations we were able to pay for transportation, lodging, meals and incidentals for the participating families. This year’s program was a great success due to the efforts of the collaboration between the Ach Diocese of Los Angeles, Sacramento and Stockton which is the home base of the NorCal Youth Program. Deacon Fidel Carrillo who is the chaplain at the Northern California Youth Correction Facility started the program at NCYCC back in 2018, was asked if he could do Bus trip for the young men at Pine Grove. Knowing the great need of the young men to reconnect and rebuild the family unit the answer was “yes” and so the work begun.
Reaching out to the parish of St. Dominic Savio in Bellflower, CA and connecting with Deacon Carlos Porras to be the base starting point for the families to board the bus. Then contacted St. Katharine Drexel in Martell, CA to see if they can be the welcoming parish upon their arrival from southern California. With stops along the way in Sylmar and Bakersfield the bus arrived at St. Katharine’s at approximately at 7:15am Dec. 14,2019 where they were welcomed the by the Young Ladies Institute #72 with breakfast and a warm and loving smile. Deacon Jaime Garcia of St. Katharine welcomed the 12 families who totaled 26 in all, to the area of Amador county. After enjoying breakfast and the chance to freshen up, it was off to see the young men at PGCYCC where the families will finally see their sons’ after such a long time. One mother put it in these words “seeing my son for the first time in 16 months has given me a new since of hope and joy of life again”
Another mother shared her experience by saying “that this program is true act of Love for one another” it’s comments like these that continue to inspire Deacon Fidel in continuing his efforts of making this program an annual event of bringing the families from Southern California to both NCYCC and PGYCC. With the help of Deacon Carlos (Los Angeles) and Deacon Jaime (Sacramento) I think we can accomplish this goal of reuniting the family and the rebuilding of strong family values that are so desperately needed in our society today.
If you feel you want to help support our efforts by donating to the NorCal Youth Program please go to: https://www.cacatholic.org/restorejustice/donate
For earmarked donations: If you want to make a donation to a specific facility, please note the location and/or chaplain in the box that says, "Add special instructions to the seller" on the following Donate page.
For Example: If you want your donation to be used in the Bus Program for the Northern California Youth Correctional Center, you can specify in the notes section, "Bus Program Stockton" or "NorCal Youth".
To mail a check: Checks should be made out to California Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. To support a specific program, please note the chaplain or location on your check. Example: “NorCal Youth” or “Deacon Fidel Carrillo” in the Memo section.
If a Tax ID number is needed to claim as a donation, the Tax ID# is 94-1201212.
Send checks to:
ATT: Chaplaincy Program
California Catholic Conference
1119 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814