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There has been 13 International WYD celebrations; the next one will be in Krakow, Poland, July 25-31 this year. At the local level, the arch/dioceses will hold the Sabah Youth Day-4 in Tawau, June 6-10.
Youth pastoral teams in the different parishes celebrated WYD this year in their own unique ways, some a simple gathering, others a fundraising towards SYD-4 and still others with spiritual inputs. Here are reports of some of the activities carried out during WYD on Palm Sunday from several parishes by their youth teams:
Membakut holds fundraising for SYD-4
MEMBAKUT – The youth of St Patrick Membakut held a sale and reflexology day to raise fund for SYD-4 participants. Parishioners gave their support to the youth by paying for the reflexology service at just RM1 per session. It involved foot soaking and hand and foot massage. The fundraising programme ended at 12pm. A simple fellowship and games session were held in the afternoon to give thanks and to strengthen the bond among them, which ended at 4pm.
On the day before, youth from the parish and its outstation chapels served together during the sunset Mass, Mar 19, as wardens, readers, psalmist, in the Presentation of Gifts and choir. Fr Paul Mikin gave a thought-provoking homily on the papal WYD message. – Edith Clara George
Beaufort celebrates WYD in a simple yet joyful manner
BEAUFORT – Catholic Youth Apostolate in St Valentine here celebrated the WYD in a simple yet joyful manner. On the day before, the youth for Beaufort contingent attended a session on spiritual preparation for SYD-4. Even though it was a long tiring day, it did not stop them from turning up for fellowship and prayer. The programme started with the Divine Mercy prayer at 3 pm, followed by praise and worship session, some games and a fellowship meal. Although it was a simple celebration, the youths coming from the parish and outstations, were happy to be able to gather together. The programme ended at 6pm. – Ervina Philip
Kudat organises KYD
KUDAT – The youth team of St Peter organised Kudat Youth Day (KYD) on 19-20 Mar 2016. There were 25 registered participants, excluding the core team. They were divided into four groups namely; Hosanna, Alleluia, God’s Projection Agent and God Bless You.
The first day dwelt on the meaning of the Year of Mercy in three sessions that covered three different aspects – SEE, JUDGE/OBSERVE and ACT – based on Pope Francis’ WYD message.
During the night, the programme continued with stage performances based on their understanding of the three aspects covered earlier. The youth presented meaningful performances. Each one also filled in the form “Suara Hati Belia” and the night continued with choir practice. All participants and core team stayed overnight at the parish hall.
The youth took the privilege to serve during the Palm Sunday Mass as wardens, commentator, readers, psalmist, and choir as a sign of their commitment in serving the Church.
KYD would not be complete without a closing gathering, so the final session summed up the whole camp, with some testimonial sharing from the youth, and the promotion of “Youth JoM.” Parish priest Fr Federick Raymond blessed everyone before departure. The organisers acknowledged all those who were involved directly or indirectly in the camp such as Women’s League and Parish Pastoral Council. – Marcella Marlene
Labuan organises COY II: Be aware of God’s mercy in life
LABUAN – One hundred and thirty youths joined Colours of Youth II (COY II) programme in conjunction with WYD celebration on Palm Sunday at the Blessed Sacrament Parish Multipurpose Hall. The objectives of the programme were to create awareness of the presence of God’s mercy in one’s life, to appreciate God’s mercy, and to be the agents of God’s mercy.
The programme began with an address and opening prayer by the president, Randy Pitas, followed by a cake cutting ceremony and potluck fellowship. Activities in the programme included a talk on “Jubilee Year of Mercy” by Josephine Jusmin, Power Bank, group sharing, gotong royong in the church and designing Card of Youth. Each youth designed a card on a work of mercy with a prayer on it to exchange with others. Everyone was encouraged to practise the work of mercy that they received on the exchange card, in their daily life. Lastly, the youths colourfully palm printed on the COY II banner symbolising their commitment to be agents of God’s mercy. –TPBP Labuan
Kobusak youth told not to be timid in serving the Church
KOBUSAK, Penampang – A young priest told his contemporaries not to be timid in serving the Church because they are the future of the Church.
Fr Abel Madisang said this in his homily at the Palm Sunday Mass on 20 Mar 2016 at Our Lady Queen of Peace here. Before the Mass ended, the priest blessed the hundred youth who stepped forward to receive the blessing.
Before the Mass, the youth pastoral team conducted a talk entitled “Reality of Today’s Youth,” presented by Marcel Peter, in conjunction with WYD celebration. With help from the catechetical committee, the talk was well attended by the youth and Sunday School students. Besides the talk, there was also an explanation about the upcoming SYD-4 celebration in Tawau and WYD in Krakow, Poland. The purpose was to explain the Church’s emphasis on youth and their role in building today’s Church – Shirley David
Papar organises two-day WYD programme
PAPAR – St Joseph Papar Parish Youth Pastoral Team organised a two-day WYD programme on 19-20 Mar 2016 at Fr John Tsung Parish Hall. About a hundred youth and adult parishioners took part in the programme.
On the first day, the programme started at 7.30 am and ended at 4 pm. The programmes were set up based on the guideline given by the Archdiocese Youth Pastoral Team. The essence of the programme was ‘Listening to Pope’s message’ written on 15 Aug 2015, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Three sessions were conducted, based on three aspects – SEE, JUDGE/OBSERVE and ACT – and was presented by Sr Calista Saliun, Sr Juanah Saliun and Evaristus Entanak respectively. Participants asked questions in every session especially in connection with the ‘Year of Mercy’. At the end of the programme, a set of questionnaire was given to all participants; these were questions similar to the issues discussed at the PAX Assembly in Pace Bene Papar. The findings would be sent to the Archdiocese Youth Office.
On Mar 20, the youths were involved fully at the Palm Sunday Mass especially in finding palms for parishioners, choir, commentator, readings, psalmist, collection and Presentation of Gifts. After the Mass, they held the Monthly Youth Gathering. This year’s WYD celebration was special because it was also a part of the preparation for the celebration of Youth Jubilee of Mercy (Youth JoM) in conjunction with the Year of Mercy, under the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu.
‘Youth JoM’ will be celebrated on Sep 16-18. Since the first Youth Jubilee in 2000, once again the youth will all gather to celebrate the same Jubilee, thanking God for the gift of faith and compassion for His infinite love for humanity. – Lester Randy, TPBP Coordinator
Limbahau ends WYD celebration with a pilgrimage
LIMBAHAU – World Youth Day celebration at Limbahau Parish was organised by the youth pastoral team on Mar 20 at Fr Augustine Amandus hall, with the WYD theme, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matt 5:7).
Sixty-four youths attended the celebration, and participated in the various activities such as praise and worship, sharing, games, fellowship and also celebrating March birthdays and baptisms. They concluded the event by making a pilgrimage together to the Holy Door at Holy Rosary Church, as a meaningful closing.
The WYD event was divided into three sessions, coordinated by Sr Calista and Sr Juanah. Sr Calista opened the celebration with a prayer.
In the first session, Sr Calista discussed with them the WYD message by Pope Francis and urged the youth to really live out the Jubilee, instead of just celebrating it. Sr Juanah animated the second session. In both sessions, they were given the opportunity to watch short video clips on the Mercy them. It was done in a way to help them to open their hearts to be more merciful like Jesus Christ.
In the group sharing, they discussed possible works of mercy they could do under the parish. The works are both spiritual and physical works.
All discussions and suggestions for action were then brought into prayer during the pilgrimage to the Holy Door of Mercy.
This year’s WYD celebration was an extraordinary one because it has helped the youth to have an indepth understanding of the meaning of being ‘merciful like the Father’. It was also a means to better prepare them for the SYD-4 in Tawau. – Antoinette Justin