Sunday, September 23, 2007

Working with young people in Forming Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs)

One of the pleasant experiences in my ministry is working with young people. There is a group of young people in the parish that call themselves as the DRYM team (Davao Redemptorist Youth Mission Team). This group is full of missionary zeal. They are involved in evangelizing the youth in the parish and in forming youth groups within the BECs. I have given them recollection and seminars over the years. This month I started training them, together with our seminarians to conduct youth fellowship seminars in each BEC. I accompanied them last night and the whole day today in conducting the youth fellowship in the BEC of San Vicente. Over 50 young people turned up. The theme of this event is : "Growing up Together as Persons and as Christians." The seminarians and the DRYM team took turns in the facilitation and the giving of inputs or lectures. The previous seminars, it was I who was giving the input, this time they were the ones doing it and my role was simply to observe and later give suggestions how they can improve their presentation.
This is the format of the seminar:

Sept. 22
8:00 pm - Opening Liturgy: Taize prayer
8:30 - First Session: "Growing up together as Persons"
Individual reflection/meditation (guide question: what are the changes that I have noticed in me over the years, what are my joys and sorrows, what are the problems that I have encountered?)
Small group sharing (5 each group)
Plenary session (1 person from each group give a synthesis of the responses)
Penitential Service
(we finished by 11 pm)

Sept. 23
9:00 am - Morning prayer
9:15 - Second Session: "Growing up together as Christians"
Drama preparation (3 groups, each group is given a story line on a dimension of Christian life)
Drama presentation
12:00 lunch-break
1:00 pm Third Session: Planning (what they can do to strengthen their fellowship within the BEC and how they can actively participate in the BEC activities)
3:00 pm - Closing Eucharist

I am happy with the outcome of this seminar. I am confident that the DRYM team can continue giving this fellowship seminar in 31 other BECs in the parish.
What we are promoting through this Youth Fellowship is that young people learn to develop bond of friendship among themselves at both local community (BEC) level and also at the parish level. This is alternative to the gangs that are sprouting in these communities.

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