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BUNDU TUHAN – One hundred and eighteen Youth Ministers from all around the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu rallied together for a time of “CONSULTATION” at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre on 6-8 Mar 2015. The Consultation hopes to involve youth leaders to discern a better approach in ministry towards current youth; to motivate them as Catholic Youth Ministers; and to rejuvenate the spirit of ministering in every youth minister.
This consultation was jointly organized by the Archdiocesan Youth Pastoral Team (AYPT) along with the Parish Youth Ministry (PYMT) and Campus Ministry Team (CMT).
“Your presence as youth ministers in this Consultation is vital in order for all of us to delve more deeply into issues concerning youths, and constructing prevention approach”, said Sr Terry fsic in her introduction of KBK9 as Coordinator of AYPT.
The Consultation saw active dialogue between participants as encouraged by Fr JeffriGumu, Spiritual Advisor of the team, in his homily during the Opening Mass, “Consultation is a time for communication, discussion, and dialogue on issues concerning young people.”
There are three objectives for the Consultation: to assist participants in understanding the approach in youth ministry; to strengthen the identity of a Catholic Youth Minister; and to rejuvenate the spirit of ministering in every person as a youth minister.
The sessions were collaborative works among the AYPT leaders. The first session entitled ‘Youth and Friendship’, which was presented by Lordkennylister P. James and Dorin Peter, was made up of simple games for the participants to help them realize that youth ministry is actually a journey of friendship. Though It was simply done, it helped boost interaction among them.
Based on PBK-12 evaluation in 2014, there are five priority issues identified as most disturbing: islamization, human trafficking, extremists, media’s negative influence and racism. There are other issues identified in the evaluation but these five are to be given prioritized attention especially on islamization, as explained by Sr Dora fsic, AYPT Assistant Coordinator. Thus in the second session ‘Current Youth Ministry’, Sr Dora and Dennis Patrick led the groups in discussion and reflected more on these priority issues in the context of their own parishes.
By doing so, youth ministers were helped to see the gaps and needs of their youth ministry back in their own parishes. This process helped the youth ministers to reflect on whether the programs organized were corresponding to the Archdiocesan Vision & Mission. It also served as a platform to mitigate gaps and to identify proper planning for further youth formation.
Another aim of the Consultation was to refresh youth leaders with the correct image of a church minister. Sr Dora gave a session ‘Profile of a Youth Minister’ which asked these questions: Who am I as a youth minister? Am I able to show good examples to the youths in my parish? it’s vital that a youth minister has a personal experience of God’s love as that is the whole purpose of evangelization, bringing God’s love to others.
A youth minister should have a clear planning in order to focus on the purpose and objectives of the ministry. A service that lacks enthusiasm will not impact but alienate others as such attitude does not present commitment and Christian values.
Veneration of Cross was held at night along with Sacrament of Reconciliation. The participants continued to embrace the cross as a symbol of strength to be witnesses of God’s glory.
Archbishop John Wong celebrated the Closing Mass, from which he reminded the participants that life as a youth comes only once in our lifetime, and urged them to use their youth time wisely. He also encouraged them to reflect on what they had gained by partaking in the Consultation and to ponder on what they could bring back to their own parish.
It is hoped that KBK-9, which carries the same theme as the World Youth Day “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”(Mt 5:8), was able to bring renewal to all youth ministers’ present in order for them to continue to serve wholeheartedly and to always depend on God’s love for strength. – Youth Documentation Team for KBK9, Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.