Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 is National Youth Day!

I grabbed the logo of the ECY from Youth Pinoy. The news comes from the website of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

This is really a positive news for all the youth ministers working in the country!

MANILA, Dec 5, 2010—The first Mass of the traditional Misa de Galo or Simbang Gabi every December 16 marks the start of the special nine-day novena of Filipinos in preparation for Christmas Day.

But this year’s first Simbang Gabi will be extra special especially for the Filipino youth since it will also usher in a year-long celebration of their significant contribution to the life and activity of the Church.

This as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will formally launch on that day the start of the “CBCP Year of the Youth,” which is meant to dedicate the incoming year in generating efforts to raise awareness about the youth and promote the youth ministry.

Aside from overlapping with the start of the traditional Simbang Gabi, the dawn of the “CBCP Year of the Youth” also coincides with the arrival of the relics of St. John Bosco, considered as the father and teacher of the youth, in the country.

According to CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), this visit of St. John Bosco’s relics is a most fitting way to launch the “CBCP Year of the Youth” as it “highlights the spirit of the saint who has offered his life for the young.”

ECY Chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said ushering in the New Year as “CBCP Year of the Youth” will be a double celebration for the Filipino Church since it will also concur with the 25th founding anniversary of ECY on July.

Incidentally, it will also cover the 26thWorld Youth Day (WYD) slated in Madrid, Spain come August.

“During this ‘CBCP Year of the Youth,’ let us together work to intensify awareness about the youth and their importance to the life and activity of the Church. By our witness, let us help the young in our midst—in our homes, schools, communities, etc.—to find God in their lives and generously answer His call to service and love,” Baylon said.

“Let us pray that there may be wider participation and greater dedication in youth ministry, leading to a meaningful and fruitful service that is undertaken with the fullest attention and highest priority in every way by all in the Church,” he added.

Baylon also urged other bishops to spearhead the diocesan level of observing the National Youth Day (NYD) on December 16 and the “CBCP Year of the Youth” thereafter.

In a letter dated November 18, 2010, Baylon urged those involved in youth ministry to echo out the ECY’s NYD 2010 Formation Program, the Liturgy for the Eucharistic Celebration on December 16, and the ECY-composed Prayer for the Youth to the parochial and transparochial levels to reach the Filipino youth and their ministers.

After the observance of the National Youth Day in the diocesan levels this month, the year-long nationwide pilgrimage of the National Youth Cross will follow.

While members of the CBCP will convene for a workshop on Youth Ministry during their plenary assembly in January, youth ministers will have their retreats with ECY bishops as retreat masters from February to June.

There will also be a National Youth Coordinating Council 2011 meeting slated on April and the recognition of outstanding persons in the youth ministry will be simultaneously held until November.

After the ECY sends its delegation to the WYD in Spain by August, it will spearhead the celebration of the National Youth Day 2011 by October. A book on the youth ministry success stories will be launched come November, just before the “CBCP Year of the Youth” closes in December 2011.

But the youth ministry awareness campaign for the “CBCP Year of the Youth” will stretch until 2012 with the Congress of Youth Directors in January 2012 and the National Conference for Youth Ministers in October 2012. (Kris Bayos)