Marian Youth Congress returns with focus on formations, friendships
By JC Madrid
NAGA CITY — After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Caceres Youth Commission (CYC) once again conducted the highly-anticipated Marian Youth Congress (MYC) here on September 10-11, 2022, with a new focus on youth formation and building friendships in the spirit of synodality.
Guided by the general theme of “Mary accompanies us in our journey towards a synodal Church,” over two thousand young people from across the Bicol Region first gathered separately in four different venues to immerse themselves in four topics that aims to help them in carrying out their various missions in their respective communities.
These four topics and venues are “Youth in Collaboration” at the Ateneo de Naga University, “Youth in Legacy” at the Universidad de Sta. Isabel, “Youth in Discernment” at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, and “Youth in Ministry” at the University of Nueva Caceres. Each also had a Patron Saint to guide them; namely: St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, St. Maria Goretti, and St. Pedro Calungsod, respectively.
At past midnight, all delegates converged at the University of Nueva Caceres through a solemn procession to synthesize and internalize what they had just separately learned. After creative presentations which featured the reading of a testament of commitment, a plenary integration on the topic, “Youth in Mission” was given by Fr. Gerome N. Pelagio, the Secretary to the Archbishop and Director of the Archdiocese of Caceres Office for Mission and Evangelization. The congress capped with a Eucharistic Celebration led by Daet Bishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, D.D., who also serves as the Chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth.
According to CYC Director Fr. Daniel R. Vegas, the annual congress is an occasion for young people to celebrate and deepen their faith, and their devotion to our Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia. This year’s emphasis on formation and friendship is in line with Pope Francis’ call for synodality, and with the CYC’s thrust of allowing the youth to not only journey together in faith, but to also make friends — mga katood — and companions along the way.