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KOTA KINABALU – The Publicity & Documentation Team for SYD4 has put together some important facts prior to SYD4, which will take place at Holy Trinity Tawau in 2016, to bring to the awareness of youth in Sabah that SYD4 has been activated and progressive preparation is being laid down towards its official launching in February 2015.
What is SYD?
Sabah Youth Day or SYD is a huge program for the Catholic youth in Sabah. Similar to the World Youth Day, Sabah Youth Day is also organized every 4 years. The Catholic youth of the three arch/dioceses in Sabah, namely Keningau, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan are the main organizers.
How did it all begin?
A staggering 5,000 Catholic youth gathered at the Youth Jubilee held at Sacred Heart Kota Kinabalu in 2000. The amazing success of this youth gathering has gone on to inspire youth in other parts of Sabah. It has produced great impact in terms of faith and leadership of the youth generally.
Consequently, the youth were invited to continue their coming together with the first Sabah Youth Day or SYD1 in 2004 at St Francis Xavier, Keningau. This was followed by SYD2 at St Peter Claver, Ranau, in 2008 and SYD3 at Holy Cross, Toboh Tambunan in 2012. The masses of youth that were at each of these gatherings showed a spiritual thirst and a missionary desire that was truly amazing.
The moment has now come for Sandakan Diocese to take up the challenge to organize SYD4 in 2016. Holy Trinity Tawau has been picked as host to welcome the youth this time round.
SYD4 is now put on “ACTIVE” mode by the organizers and the selecting of the theme song and logo for SYD4 is in progress.
Many could be left wondering why there had been such a huge response and what young people were seeking. The response of the young people showed the need to meet together to share their experiences, to listen to words of faith, to look to the future together, and to renew and confirm their commitment.
Since the beginning of SYD, matters that challenged the young people in current and oppressing issues have been given focus.
Past SYDs have also shown the local Church’s effort to help the youths generally to persevere in their faith and to be strengthened in facing the challenges of life.
SYD is still relevant in the gathering of the youth from all three arch/dioceses and in providing a common platform for the youth. It is a path for them to be actively involved in the Church’s Ministry, as well as to rise up as leaders of strong moral convictions for the society. SYD also opens an arena for the youth to be strong in their identity as children of God who are filled with the love and mercy of God. SYD has been instrumental for many to give their “yes” to God’s call to the religious life and priesthood. SYD4 is definitely here to stay!
SYD is the Church’s program for the youth, thus the support of the religious, priests, and Commissions such as Family Commission, Human Development, Catechetical, Women’s League, Education Commission, Social Communication, Bible Commission, and Liturgy Commission, is needed and strongly urged to work together with the youth ministry. The worsening and challenging current situation of today’s world is obviously a threat to our youth. Therefore, it has become our responsibility to affirm and to strengthen them as best as we could. – Cindy Edward