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Effective listening to the youth (FIN province)

By Our Own Correspondent

Manila, the Philippines, 22 November 2018 -- Truly effective listening to young people brings many fruits. The Philippines North - Malaysia province (FIN) took a significant leap forward this year in reflection on and relaunching of a quality Youth Ministry. Indeed the whole Filipino Catholic Church owes much to the Salesian charism over the past 30 years, but the Salesians feel a call to take a step forward in the quality of our service to the young of today.

The Youth Ministry commission (CYM - FIN) animates the whole FIN provincial community with in-depth reflection inspired by the 'Listening culture' in turn inspired by the Filipino Catholic community's preparation for its Quincentennial (500 years) anniversary (Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered’ - Year of Youth 2019), but also by the 2018 Synod of Bishops, the GC28 theme 'What kind of Salesians for the youth of today?' and by the Strenna 2018 on the 'Art of listening and accompaniment'.

The Youth Ministry Commission of FIN is probably the best structured and organised within our Region, together with the CIN and FIS provinces, with a monthly YM commission (team) coming together, the involvement of many young people and other lay mission partners. However living in a great majority Catholic country amidst hundreds of young people in our parishes, schools and youth centres might also lead to a certain sense of the status quo, being satisfied with the well-designed SEPP in each setting, SYM groups coming together for large gatherings and the ordinary activities going ahead. What is the future of the Youth Ministry in The Philippines North-Malaysia province?

During the past few months the whole provincial community made significant efforts in effective listening to the young, aimed at the transformation of our youth ministry, following a clear discernment process as follows:

Salesian Youth profile within the SEPP Framework: How are young people today by comparison with ‘Salesian Youth’? – The synthesis of some hundreds of responses was framed along the four SEPP (Salesian Educative Pastoral Plan) dimensions – in relation to the EPC (Educative Pastoral Community), in relation to Education and Culture, Group Experience and Vocational Orientation. Among the dominant Youth concerns, social media, family, participation of youth in Church and Society and credible models in Church and Society stand out.

After the initial stage of intense listening to the Youth, the process in the province discernment process continues with the community Assembly (Sharing) – a kind of interpretation of the Youth profile with the criteria of the 2018 Bishop’s Synod Final document (no. 63) ‘The Young Jesus: source of the blessedness of the Young’. Community sharing is scaled at an affective level: What do you feel about the profile of the young people? – then at an awareness level: What ways are ‘Bosconian youth’ similar or different from the results of the ‘Youth profile’? And finally, it concludes with an action (transformation) level – What does God want me/us (SDB, lay mission partners and the young) to do with the young today, to update ourselves as Salesian youth ministers; to propose to renew Salesian youth ministry in our province?

We congratulate the FIN province Youth Ministry team (Delegate Fr Joebeth L Vivo) and the whole provincial community for this movement and with the hope that it might also inspire other provinces of our EAO region!

Full text of the of FIN province path for the renewal

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