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Saturday, September 5, 2015

3rd Bishops' Institute for Lay Apostolate on Youth (Day 4 & 5)

Report by Mayette H. Bugaoan (Penang Diocesan Youth Commission)
Compiled by Sandakan Diocesan Youth Office
Photo contributed by Donn Arthur and King Constantine
‘Transformation’ was the key word that rung around Pace Bene Retreat Centre on the fourth day of the Conference. The Masters of Ceremonies this time were from South East Asia 1 composed of delegates from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. 
Promptly following the mass and recap, the fourth Talk entitled, ‘A Transforming Church’ was given by the Regional Episcopal Commission on Youth / Campus Ministry, Julian Leow, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur. He elaborated Five Points on Transformation: 
(1) Self-transformation of the priest and the Youth Minister. He invited the group to reflect on each one’s attitude towards personal prayer, rest, and openness towards seeing things from a new perspective as fruits of self-care. 

(2) Transformed by the church. He challenged the participants of their conviction and sense of gratitude that they belong to the Church with the ‘fullness of truth’—because it was founded by Jesus Christ himself. Aside from calling on his brother priests to see in what areas the Church needs to be transformed, he further encouraged the lay participants to recognize their significant contribution to the Mother Church. 
(3) How can the Church help in transforming the Youth? The young people can help transform the Church but they need to have sacred spaces in order to have a personal experience with God. This ought to be the goal of Youth Ministries when it organizes events for the young people. 
(4) The Catholic Church has something to offer. They are Spirit and Truth. Honesty as opposed to false respect. His challenge was to be open even to receive honest criticism and to see the divine in the ordinary things in life. 
Lastly, his fifth point was for each country to be able to identify its own uniqueness and thus be able to contribute to the Asian identity -- whether it be through Inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism, counter proselytization or alleviation of poverty. The Church, although has been in existence for more than 2000 years still has many avenues for growth and transformation. 
The delegates were later distributed to different workshop groups given by invited and delegate-facilitators: Pastoral Care for the Youth Minister by Mr. Charles Bertille; Theology, Methodology and Skills of Youth Ministry by Mr. Dominic Lim; Stewardship of Creation by Bishop Cornelius Sim; Intentional Discipleship by husband and wife team, Henry and Ann Hoo; and Moral Relativism by Bishop Julius Gitom. 
Moral Relativsm - Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom
Pastoral Care for Youth Minister - Mr. Charles Bertille
Theology, Methodology and skills of Youth Ministry - Mr. Dominic Lim
Intentional Discipleship - Anne Hoo (Henry Hoo the Husband is not in the photo)
Stewardship of Creation - Bishop Cornelius Sim
The final event of the day was the Fellowship Night. The delegates, after reading and deliberating on the first draft of the BILA 3 Statement, still had the energy and enthusiasm for fun and light-hearted celebration of cultures. Dressed elegantly in their traditional costumes, everyone joined the praise and worship led by Anna Amandus; received colorful beaded necklace placed one-by-one on them by the Archbishop John Wong Soo Kau, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu. They also creatively presented the summary of the different Workshops held earlier, and joyfully participated in the games prepared by the host, Malaysian Youth Commission. This did not only allow the delegates to proudly present their cultures through their attires, it also fostered a deeper bond among them.
The 5th and last day began with Morning Prayer animated by the delegates from India led by Fr. Deepak. The morning continued with the presentation of Pastoral Synthesis by Bishop Joel Baylon which was followed by the presentation of the 2nd draft followed by suggestions and opinions from the floor towards making the final draft. The day was concluded with a closing mass celebrated by Bishop Joel Baylon, the In-charge of FABC – OLF Youth Desk. The choir was led by the South Asian Delegation, which consisted of delegates from India and Pakistan. It  was indeed a very enriching experience for each and everyone present, who gained new dimensions to the youth ministry by sharing and learning from leaders from various other countries, along with the fellowship shared with everyone.

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