Sunday, November 04, 2007

Trip with the KOA

For five months now, our apostolate in Camella subdivision has been like a foretaste of how it is to be in the real field of apostolate. Noble (my classmate, he’s from Pakistan) and I go to the multi-purpose hall (now converted into a chapel) of the subdivision for our Mass every first and third Sundays of the month. We meet the Knights of the Altar (KOA) after the Mass, give them some formative talks, and play with them in the available basketball courts of the subdivision.

At times, we also invite them to go for a hike, as we need also to “visit” another place of apostolate in the hilly place of Maghaway.

As I think about it, my experience with the KOA boys has also been as such, a foretaste, a patikim. After remembering the boys by their faces and associating these by their first names, my memory bank doesn’t offer any other piece of information about them, except for the schools of some and a couple of sports and video games where they excel at. Nothing else.

I realized that the apostolate may just be a preview of what is yet to happen (A stage of our formation in the Salesians is called practical training: it comprises years of immersion in the field of working with and for the youth in schools, youth centers, and various settings that provide us opportunities to apply the many inputs we’ve gained about youth ministry. After all, Salesians exist to cater to the young) but the experience of what is it to be in the midst of the young should not also limit me in my dealing with them due to this excuse: ‘I only meet them twice a month anyway.’

This realization has pushed me to think out of the box.

Last month, I inquired about how we’ll be able to attract more members. The number of members has not grown much since we came last June. And to make things worst, some of them are already in the age of 16 years old, a retirement age.

And so, I asked Robert (a KOA in the subdivision who also studies in a Don Bosco school) to lay out posters that may appeal to prospective members. I also asked him to draft an announcement that will be read during the Mass. I don’t know if he did them. I have been to the chapel twice already since that meeting, but I still have to see the poster.
Anyway, somebody floated the idea of an outing (I don’t know how to connect this with the idea of advertisement). The greater majority seemed to have liked it. Without me knowing it, I found myself asking them about the possible date, the details of the trip (esp. the food to bring and who would bring them) and the amount of money we need to collect for the trip.
I promised them that we’ll push through with the trip, come hell and high water.