SYM and GENFEST in Manila:
signs of growing youth global solidarity
Manila, the Philippines, 8 july 2018 -- Just yesterday was concluded in Manila the first 'GENFEST' (Focolare Youth Movement, a kind of SYM) out of Europe. About 6000 Youth from all over the 100 countries in the world and from all 86 dioceses of the Philippines took part in this Focolare Movement event. The event, organized for the first time in Asia and outside Europe in Manila from 6 to 8 July, was the eleventh edition of the Genfest, and focused on the theme "Beyond all borders".
Also one group of SYM members from Don Bosco Pampanga (DBA) participants headed by Fr. Marc Will R. Lim, Cl. Rico B. Mercado and Mr. Christian B. Larce. On the file photo are posing with participants from Brazil, venue of the next Genfest scheduled on the year 2024.
Generally held every 6 years, the Genfest is organized by the "Youth for a United World" (Y4UW), Focolare’s youth wing. Since its inception in Italy in 1973, the Genfest has become an avenue for young people to show that a united world is possible. "At a time when migration increases and nationalisms gain ground, as a reaction to an exclusively economic globalization that ignores the diversities of individual cultures and religions,the GENFEST has proposed to youth a change of attitude: do not stop at personal, social and political barriers but be ready to accept without fear or prejudice any sort of diversity", said Maria Voce, (World) President of the Focolare Movement.
In this context we perceive also very meaningful the recent Filipino movement toward one Salesian Youth Movement of the Philippines. Last month, the SDB and FMA delegates of Youth Ministry and SYM met together with their animators and young people to affirm their common identity, vision and mission statement formulated last April. I could sense the pride and joy for the great achievement. In that meeting too, the decision to make a common primer was made and the storyline was drafted and approved.
We also made a look into the source of our direction: for us Salesians (SDB: FIN and FIS) it is both the SEPP and the OPP and for the FMA, their direction comes from the 6-year province plan (which for us could be the OPP). We have also agreed that in front of the other countries and the congregation, we will stand as SYM Philippines.
Really, the pursuit for unity of purpose and direction was intentionally evident. Our minds and hearts were open during the meeting and discussion; and we all have the desire to work together at a certain level. I came to believe that this is a very good achievement of all the SDB-FMA provinces here.
God has been so benevolent and kind, that in His time, this has happened. Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello must be looking at us with profound joy seeing their family on earth working hand in hand. I believe that there are still many things to do, but what is important for us is we have made the big and right step to act as one Salesian Youth Movement of the Philippines.
FB Genfest 2018 Manila (official):https://www.facebook.com/y4uw.official