In spite of the cyclone, the participants of the Parish Youth Leadership Formation and Planning Workshop managed to arrive at the Diocesan Pastoral Center for this. It was from the 18th of January to the 2nd of February 2014. Thirteen (13) out of eighteen (18) parishes were represented with twenty-two (22) participants.

2014 Parish Youth Leaders’ Plan of Action includes the following: 
.

· Be an example to the youth.

· Fulfill my duties as a parish youth leader and carry our youth activities.

· Know, identify and respond to the needs of the youth.

· Plan, program, monitor and evaluate youth activities.

· Make awareness on the Diocesan youth program and activities.

·  Catholic Christian Community youth leaders‘ workshop on the 2014 Learning Material.

· Visit the youth in their communities.

· Promote working together as youth.

Parish youth leaders have improved in these areas:  listening , gaining confidence, growing in faith, group work and cooperation; sharing ideas, preparation and presentation of topics, public speaking, report writing, planning, programming and team working.

On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, 2nd of February, the commissioning of the Parish Youth Leaders by Bishop Rolando Santos, C.M. was done at the Cathedral during the 9 a.m. Mass .It was a moving experience for the participants that before the sending forth, they were asked by the Bishop to profess their faith in the presence of the community gathered in the church. They said that their commissioning as youth leaders became a very real challenge for them.




Four youth leaders who arrived late due to bad weather and rough sea had special sessions from the 6th—13th February at the Catholic Community Centre in town. Topics contained in the 2014 Learning Material were presented to them by our volunteer resource persons: Victor Raymond, Fr. Francis Raco, PIME, Bro. Liam Ryan, Neocath, Diocesan Seminarian Basil, together with Sr. Yolanda who took them towards the end of the formation program.

PARISH YOUTH ACTIVITIES-PARISH YOUTH ACTIVITIES

The awareness on the Diocesan Youth Program and on the 2014 Learning Material in 14 out of 18 parishes in the Diocese, the parish youth leaders have received positive feedback and support. These 14 parish youth leaders  held the leadership training or workshop of their Catholic Christian Community (CCC) youth leaders, which included Doing by Learning and Learning by Doing. They have reported that there is a growing appreciation and understanding of the formation sessions in the Youth Ministry Program among the youth and in their communities.

In Jinjo. Rossel Island, the Convention began with the Nativity Mass celebrated at 7:00 p.m. on the 25th of December marked the opening of the Convention.


The youth participants increased daily and were active and cooperative in the learning sessions, prayer exercises and the Celebration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. On the day for Confession, they had the examination of conscience using the Ten Commandments and they took the opportunity to receive the Sacrament with seriousness.



Maria Joe, the parish youth leader, presented the Catholic Youth Policy to the youth members. Other resource persons were the Diocesan Youth Coordinator, Fr. Sam Phazs (Parish Priest), Matthias James, parish youth leader of St. Joseph, Misima and Cecilia Bagi and ten youth from St. Joseph Parish–Misima to join the convention. It concluded on New Year’s Day and this brought blessings to those present, including some parents and elders in the parish who assisted and encouraged the youth in many ways. According to Maria Joe, youth who had not been active before came forward during this Youth Convention. She expressed great hope that their youth group will carry on in their own work of evangelization.

St. Paul’s Parish, Bolubolu has adopted the youth formation program in their CCCs.

The youth of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Sideia had Lenten Recollection during their Parish Youth Day on Palm Sunday. There were about fifty young people who participated in this gathering from 11th-13th of April even if the sea was rough. This was spearheaded by Gilbert Philip and Chris Paul with the full support of the parish priest, Fr. Elmer Dula, RCJ.

The youth of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Ealeba, will hold their convention this coming July starting on the Feast of St. Maria Gorreti. They have been very active in doing awareness and helping each other in spiritual events in the CCCs. Cecilia Bagi is accompanying the new youth leaders of both the inland and coastal youth groups; namely, Jack Jerome, John Joachim and Elizabeth Bart.

Gabriel Anthony, the parish youth leader of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Budoya gathered the CCC youth leaders for their training on the use of the 2014 Learning Material. He was assisted by Cecilia Kennedy who also attended the Parish Youth Leadership Training at Hagita.

Many of the youth of St. Peter’s Parish, Kurada found the 2014 Learning Material interesting and easy to understand as reported by Bartholomew Mackenzie and John Xavier. They had also the formation of the CCC youth leaders and the PPC Chairman affirmed that the topics are  the basic foundation for the youth and that these must be for all young people and communities.

Rachel Judebid of 
St. Joseph’s Parish, Boiou (Misima Island) with twenty six active young people gathered for the second time to prepare for the Feast of St. Maria Goretti. She said that almost all her members are new to the youth group yet they show interest and cooperate in the formation activities.

Our youth groups in St. Alphonsus Parish, Nimowa and St. Paul’s Parish, Jinjo find themselves in a very difficult situation after their villages and gardens have been badly affected by the strong cyclone in April. There is much to be done to rebuild their houses and fix their gardens.


                           

Name of the Parish
No. of Male Youth
No. of
Female
Youth

Total
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus– Alotau
65
67
132
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart– Budoya
106
137
243
St. Paul– Bolubolu*
190
94
284
St. Therese of Lisieux-Bosalewa
64
36
100
St. Anthony of Padua-Gusaweta
119
47
166
St. Paul- Jinjo, Rossel Island
77
93
170
St. Peter—Kurada*
68
34
102
St. Francis Xavier—Kelologeia
81
48
129
Santa Maria—Ladava
143
118
261
Blessed John Mazzucconi—Mapamoiwa
64
32
96
St. Joseph—Boiou, Misima*
22
4
26
St. Alphonsus—Nimowa
214
238
452
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart—Sideia
91
54
145
St. Mary —Wapipi
76
44
120
Santa Maria—Watuluma
78
37
115
Blessed John Mazzucconi—Woodlark
18
4
22
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart—Ealeba
195
103
298
St. Joseph—Yokowa
90
22
112
TOTAL
1755
1212
2973
  * Updated Parish Youth Statistics 


The geographical situation of Milne Bay Province poses a great challenge in the work of evangelization in the Diocese, especially for the youth who dedicate themselves and actively collaborate in the ministry. Paddling through the sea waters or walking through the bushes, hills and mountains to reach a sub-parish youth group is a such a sacrifice for the youth leader who generously committed him/herself in this work. This is what I am being grateful for in my task as a Diocesan Youth Coordinator in my fourth year now. I have witnessed the development of the Youth Ministry and the growth of our young people though the challenge is always before us. The Risen Jesus, who walked alongside with the two disciples on the road  to Emmaus, is with us all in the here and now. For  our  forthcoming Youth Convention, we feel assured of God’s bountiful blessings through Mary.







 

 COURAGE!



                                                                      Come to Jesus through Mary

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