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Youths find identity in living the Catholic faith

SONY DSCKOTA KINABALU – Archdiocesan Youth Pastoral Team (AYPT) is instrumental in providing faith building activities for young people every year. Having organized the previous Emmaus Camp for teenagers last November, once again AYPT organized Emmaus Camp for youths for the sixth time, at CSG Centre Jan 11-24. The faith building camp was participated by 34 school leaver youths aged 18-20 years old from 11 different parishes around Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese.

Emmaus Youth Camp (EYC6) aims to assist youths to recognize their true identity in order to live the Catholic faith in today’s world, as well as to help them be aware of their responsibility to society at large. Thus in light of these important objectives, the theme of this year’s EYC6 is taken from Luke 24:35, “He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

Sessions were aimed at bringing about an awareness in knowing their true self in Jesus. The participants learned about life (and body) as a gift from God, and that it is to be lived, rooted and sustained in Jesus, through the cross.

The Eucharist, being central to the Catholic faith, is the source and summit of our faith. The participants delved deeper into the mystery of the Eucharist and learned to appreciate it as the way that opens to God and the one that unites us with Jesus.

Next, they were exposed to the realities of today where distortions of self-image abound, among which are the issues of homosexuality, addiction to pleasure which leads to pornography, pre-marital sex and abortion. Discovering true identity in Christ therefore help to give a wholesome form to the self-image and a path to purposeful living.

A special program “Keep In Touch Always” was organized, which was available to other non-participating youths from all over KK Archdiocese. The way of doing it is spelt out in the name of the program itself, “Keep In Touch Always”, in which they are encouraged to stay in contact with each other for fellowship and support. This is a practical method to prepare school leaver youths in being firm in faith before going out to further their studies in college or university. It is also to empower them in making better choices in studies and course of actions they can undertake in the face of difficulties and oppression. It is a practical way to be rooted in their Catholic faith.

Prayers and the Eucharist are the source of faith and strength for EYC 2015. The participants attended daily Mass and prayed together as one family, developing a deeper relationship with God. They were also exposed to various type of prayers such as the Divine Office, body prayer, meditation prayer, the Rosary and the importance and beauty of silence during recollection. The Masses during EYC 2015 were alternately celebrated by Fr Jeffri Gumu, advisor of AYPT and Fr Mitchelly Kiun. – EYC6 Documentation Team


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