Partido youth gathers for Marian Camp
By Dodong P. Valencia
The 15th Marian Mission Youth Encampment (MMYE) was once again held after two (2) years of postponement due to pandemic restrictions. Anchored on the theme, “Mary arose and went with haste (Lk 1:38).”
Around 500 participants composed of youths coming from various schools, parishes, religious youth organizations, Barangay Pastoral Council (BPC) Youth within the vicariate of St. John the Baptist and its neighboring vicariate in Partido district attended the two-day gathering held on October 21-22, 2023 at San Jose Cultural Center, San Jose, Camarines Sur.
The St. John the Baptist Vicariate is composed of the parishes of St. John Baptist in Goa, St. Padre Pio in Sabang, San Jose; Most Precious Blood of Jesus in Omalo, Lagonoy; St. Francis Xavier in Halawig-gogon, Goa; San Jose, St. Philip and James in Lagonoy, St. Luke in Digdigon, Goa; and St. Vincent in Maangas, Presentacion.
MMYE is an annual youth gathering which aims and serves to re-echo the Marian Youth Congress (MYC) held in Naga City last September. The event also commemorated the celebration for the Rosary month. It is intended for Partido students and youths who were not able to participate in the Peñafrancia festivities in the pilgrim city of Naga.
Furthermore, MMYE is another avenue to enlighten, harness and motivate participants to deepen their devotion to Mary and instill the significance of Her intercession.
As a gathering or convergence, MMYE youths are encouraged to develop and promote camaraderie among fellow youths, strengthen compassion and communion towards the synodal mission of the church.
On the first day, Saturday, 2:00 P.M. immediately after the registration and arrival of participants, confession and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament were conducted. A Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by Rev. Fr. Luisito A. Occiano, Rector and Parish Priest of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Joseph with Rev. Fr. Daniel R. Vegas, Director , Caceres Youth Commission, as the homilist.
In his homily, Fr. Vegas, which inspired the youth by “love quotes,” emphasized some key reflections from the Sunday Gospel. On “priorities”, he said that spiritual priorities shall be prioritized over materialism. While he explained the danger of seeking the comfort that sets aside commitment to responsibilities and activities serving the community, church, family and neighbors to enjoy convenience in life on his discussion of “commitment over convenience”. He urges that the youth of today must be selfless rather than being indiferrent. On “ Christianity by conviction, not Christianity by convention”, Fr. Vegas accentuated that a true baptized Christian abides by the teachings of the church with true faith while reaching out to others in need.
After the mass, a procession dubbed as “ Marian Walk” was joined in by more or less a thousand youth around San Jose Poblacion carrying the image of “ Ina” while reciting the rosary and singing Marian songs.
At 7:00 P.M., there was a vocation promotion and a talk by Rev. Fr. Rex Luis Hidalgo.
Formative sessions were conducted on Epic Quest: Youth in Discernment at the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary; Servitor: Youth in Ministry at San Jose Parish Church; Squad Goals: Youth in Collaboration at the parish formation center and Trailblazers: Youth in Legacy at the Cultural Center. A plenary session followed with testimonials from World Youth Day participants.
A fellowship program among the participants was held during the second part of the program with band and choir singing, creative presentations and “Alay ki Ina”.
The Parish Youth Ministry of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Joseph is under the leadership of Richard Paco and Mae Climaco with the assistance of Manuel Moranda and Greggy Israel as advisers.
Fr. Louie Occiano thanked the San Jose Parish Youth Ministry, the main organizers of the event, the LGU of San Jose through Mayor Jerold Pena and S.B. Members, guests, sharers, donors and sponsors of the occasion.
Fr. Louie Occiano leads the singing of Salve Regina after the Marian walk of the youth gathered for the 15th Marian Mission Youth Encampment (Photo from Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Joseph)