“In every young person, a point of goodness is accessible, and it is the primary duty of the educator to discover that sensitive cord of the heart so as to draw out the best in the young person.”
-Saint John Bosco-
Believing in the innate goodness of each individual, a person must ignite such dormant capacity to do good in order to create a ripple of goodness. As Don Bosco aspires, the youth of today are the future ministers of tomorrow; however, a person has to direct the paths of the younger ones. Banking on that premise, CARE 101 is brought to life.
On July 22-23, 2017, 32 participants attended a humbling and enriching talk on youth ministry by the very able Fr. Joriz F. Calsa, SDB. For the span of two days, participants learned about the roots and the rationale of youth ministry. On the first day, participating youth leaders learned that “youth ministry will be an effective ministry only when there is awareness and understanding of the young (KA-LAKBAY, Philippine Primer on Youth Ministry)”. In line with awareness, everyone grasped the idea that having age brackets is just a guide rather than a fixed norm as well as introducing a new stage of growth – adultlescence wherein many young adults are stuck at the moment.
In an inevitable quest of finding oneself, the young are bound in different facets: Self, Others, God, and Life’s Situations. Moreover, each facet is faced with both success and failure indicator. Furthermore, as the time unfolded, the participants were presented with the paradigms of youth ministry which are (1) the action of the church, (2) something that helps the young to discover the person of Christ and His message, (3) commitment to imitate Him as a transformed man or woman, (4) integration of faith and love, and (5) towards a construction of a civilization of love.
On the second day, with the thought of becoming a successful minister of the young, participants were introduced with the ‘Gospel Roots’ of youth ministry – The Road to Emmaus ( Luke 24: 13-35 ). Out from the gospel reading sprung the meat of the talk itself – C.A.R.E., which Fr. Joriz has created himself in the years teaching and animating the youth.
As a person who aspires to follow in the footsteps of Jesus through Saint John Bosco, one has to CONNECT by being a friend to the young people through simple friendship and companionship. After the connection has been established, he or she has to have an AWARENESS of the reality of the youth knowing that young people nowadays believe that they know something, want something, and dream of something. As soon as awareness is realized, going a level higher and becoming like Jesus as a humble teacher will just be a piece of cake. Awareness needs an action to be implemented which is RE-EDUCATION. In every fragile mind of the young, enlightenment has to take part in knowing what lies beyond the scriptures and what lies ahead of us as Christian believers. When the zealous person becomes enlightened, his/her attitude and spirituality must be reinforced through EMPOWERMENT which sums up the remembrance of Jesus.
“Young people must be animated so as to have meaningful encounters and/or memories,” said Father Joriz.
With a tough yet fulfilling job at hand, a youth minster must strive to be a ‘Jesus’ to every young person bearing and igniting his/her personal identity which delineates someone’s uniqueness, spirituality which calls for a particular way of living the Gospel of Jesus, community membership which exemplifies people being the church themselves who act in the name and for the sake of the community, formation to continuously grow professionally, competently, and spiritually in the light of Jesus’ teachings, and lead a ministry.
With all the inputs shared, words can’t somehow express everything that transpired and all those things that were assimilated.