SYM Gathering, Cebu
Cebu, The Philippines, 11 November 2019 -- The Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) Philippines South – FIS core group spearheaded by Fr. Vince Michael Sabal, SDB organized the annual Inter-Don Bosco Youth Center (IDBYC) on November 9, 2019 at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Gymnasium with the theme, “YES!” - in line with the World Youth Day’s theme, “I am servant of the Lord”. This once in a year gathering not only aims at reconnecting all Salesian youth members from different settings, but also empowering each youth group to know more about their identity and function as part of the Salesian Youth Movement. There were approximately 450 young people who attended from different Don Bosco settings: DBYC – DBTC, DBTC – BED, College and TVET, DBYC – Lawaan, DBYC – Liloan, DBYC – Lourdes, DBYC – Pasil, Mary Help of Christians School and aspirants from Don Bosco Formation Center- Lawaan. SYM relaunched the sodalities: Savio Friends Club; Knights of the Altar; Lilies of the Altar; Auxilium; Juventus; Friends of Laura Vicuna; Biblos; Zatti Friends; Interest Groups; and Federation of Choirs and Musicians. Everyone was clustered according to the youth group they belong to regardless of their setting.
One of the highlights of the day was the input given by Rev. Fr. Joriz Calsa, SDB. First, he emphasized the importance of knowing and living the Salesian Youth Spirituality (SYS) to everyone. And to easily remember the SYS, he introduced DAILY OF CoRS which means: Daily Life, Optimism and Joy, Friendship with Jesus, Communion with the Church and Responsible Service. Secondly, he addressed the post-synodal apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive) to the young people. Pope Francis had two challenges- to be synodal and inclusive. He wants us to walk or journey together and also welcome all types of youth regardless of age, gender, race, background, family orientation, and etc. Fr. Joriz also included the two concrete actions that Pope Francis cited: outreach and growth. Lastly, he wrapped up the talk with the chance to to ask questions addressed to our Salesian priests.
In the afternoon, each youth group was assigned to specific places to discuss among themselves the nature, motto, patron saints and the main objective of the sodality. After that, a provincial animator and secretary were elected and welcomed. A solemn enthronement was held where papers containing different yes’es of the young people was offered and was followed by a celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by the SYM-FIS Provincial Superior, Rev. Fr. Godofredo Atienza, SDB. Afterwards, the updated Primer of the Salesian Youth Movement was blessed and turned over to the different DB settings. The newly elected provincial animators and secretary were also acknowledged after the mass. The program ended with the created and wonderful presentations from different DB settings.
IDBYC 2019 was a successful and fruitful event which has holistically inspired the young people. May we always say YES to the Father Almighty just like our our Blessed Virgin Mother did.