Salesian Youth Days 2018
Calamba City, the Philippines, 29 April 2018 -- The Salesian Youth Movement – Philippines recently concluded the Salesian Youth Days (SYD)2018 with the theme “The Millennial Yes… Dauntless!” in preparation for the forthcoming 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in Rome in October 2018 on the topic “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.”
The journey of the SYD ran parallel to that of John, the Beloved, who was presented by His Holiness, Pope Francis as the icon of the Synod.
On April 26-29, 2018, more than 400 youth leaders, animators, SDBs, FMAs, and other members of the Salesian Family gathered in Mary Help of Christians College, Canlubang, Calamba City, Laguna for these days of formation, prayer, reflection, and celebration.
Pope Francis noted that “The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society."
On April 26, Sr. Mabel Pilar, FMA, the Provincial Superior, welcomed the participants coming from all over the country. She highlighted the urgent need to learn how to listen to God’s call and reminded the youth of the challenge to be holy.
The participants were divided according to their campsites whose names were taken from youthful characters from the bible who were called by God to participate in his plan of salvation for mankind, namely:
- Esther, the Humble Queen;
- Samuel, the Listener;
- Jeremiah, the Weeping Warrior;
- Daniel, the Valiant;
- David, the Courageous.
The following day, Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB served as the Keynote Speaker on the youth situation in the Philippines today. After his address, there were the concurrent sessions on the following topics:
- Youth at Risk by Sr. Marivic Sta Ana, FMA;
- Media and Gen Y/Z by Sr. Debbie Ponsaran, FMA;
- Catholic Youth Survey by Mr. Stephen Borja
- Mental Health Issues by Mr. Allen Saraza.
In the afternoon, Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, DD, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth, celebrated the Holy Eucharist. Bishop Jaucian told the participants that his presence in the SYD is a sign of the Church’s closeness to the youth.
On the last morning of the SYD, the participants woke up before dawn to go to Republik WakePark in Sta. Rosa, Laguna to re-enact the traditional Salubong or the encounter between the Risen Christ and his Sorrowing Mother.
The procession was followed by the re-enactment of the First Breakfast by the lakeside based on John 21. The First Breakfast by the Sea of Tiberias is a meal prepared by the Resurrected Christ himself as an invitation and, indeed, a sign of reconciliation and renewal for the disciples who abandoned him during his passion and death.
Fr. Juvelan Paul N. Samia, SDB, head of the SYM-FIN, celebrated the concluding Mass. In his homily, Fr. Samia challenged the SYM leaders and animators to train their eyes to see the presence of God in the events of the ordinary day because seeing the presence of God would truly make them Dauntless.