Marian congress gathers Bicol’s youth
The Marian Yougth Congress (MYC) 2023 was held last September 9-10, with the theme “Mary arose and went haste” (Lk 1:39).
This year’s MYC 2023, spearheaded by the Caceres Youth Commission of the Archdiocese of Caceres, gathered more than two thousand one hundred volunteers and youth participants from Bicol: from Archdiocese of Caceres, Dioceses of Daet, Virac, Masbate and Legazpi.
The theme chosen was modeled after the National Youth Day celebration which reflected on “Mary arose and went haste” (Lk 1:39).
The two-day event featured Formation sessions that aimed to help young people in carrying out their various missions in the communities, Immersion sessions with host families that gave an understanding of the different realities of life and Plenary session that aimed to synthesize, reinforce, and live out what they had just learned.
For the organizers, it was a given opportunity for the youth to journey together in faith, gather in a community of friendship, and become partakers in the evangelizing mission of the Church.
Archbishop Roly Tirona takes a selfie with some of the youth gathered for this year’s Marian Youth Congress. (Photo : Caceres Youth Commission)
The event commenced with simultaneous formation sessions in the designated formation sites: Ateneo de Naga University with the theme: “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5) ; Naga College Foundation with “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:48); in ALDP Montevista Covered Court “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? “ (Luke 2:49) and in the University of Nueva Caceres “ Woman, behold your Son “ ( John 19:26). The formation aims to help the youth carry out their various missions in Christian communities.
Participants also engaged in the immersion sessions in the homes of host families which were selected by the parishes to help the youth understand the different realities of life and deepen their faith.
To summarize, strengthen, and practice their insights over the two-day encounter, the young delegates convened at the University of Nueva Caceres for the Plenary Session. Where a Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona, OCD. In the homily, he said: “ Mary arose and made haste because she was affected, driven, magnetized, and pushed by only one thing: the love of God for her. I hope we can become like the Blessed Mother, driven by the love of God, driven by love of prayer, and driven by the love of the Church. We will always rise up and walk in haste, proclaiming all over the world that God is Good- that God is Love.”
An integration talk on the theme “Mary arose and went haste” (Lk 1:39) was given by Fr. Mhel Dacillo, C.Ss.R., Superior of the Redemptorist Legazpi Mission Community. “Jesus is telling us that we are called by our name. Kapag tinawag tayo sa ating pangalan, ikaw ay hindi lang isa sa karamihan, ikaw ay may natatanging mukha, “ Fr. Dacillo said. “ Arise and go in haste! Magmadali tayo. Wag na nating patagalin pa. When it is about a mission, there is no delay. Ayaw ng Diyos na matagalan bago tayo magkilos.”
A participant, in his social media account, said that the MYC was “an opportunity for us, young people, to learn from inspiring speakers, participate in workshops, and engage in prayer and worship together. It provided space to network, build friendships, and form a community of believers who are passionate about the faith.”
Fr. Daniel R. Vegas is the Archdiocesan Youth Director of Caceres and is the organizer of the Marian Youth Congress.