Caidiocan, Valencia, NEGROS ORIENTAL—Youth delegates from the Vicariate of St. John of the Diocese of Dumaguete were gathered at St. Ezekiel Moreno Quasi-Parish for the 3-day annual Vicarial Youth Camp from June 21 to 23, 2019. Re-echoing the World Youth Day 2019 theme: “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be done unto me according to Your Word (Lk. 1:38),” VYC 2019’s objectives were to strengthen the minds of the young; to draw them closer to Jesus through Mary; and to encourage the youth to enjoy the life with Jesus. The youth camp also coincided with the celebration of the Year of the Youth throughout the whole Catholic Church in the Philippines.
The Vicariate of St. John is composed of parishes and quasi-parishes under the Diocese of Dumaguete. These are: St. Ezekiel Moreno Quasi-Parish, Caidiocan, Valencia; Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Valencia; St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Dauin; St. Nicholas of Tolentine Quasi-Parish, Magsaysay; St. Vincent Ferrer Quasi-Parish, Apo Island, Dauin; St. Augustine of Hippo Parish, Bacong; and St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, Zamboanguita.
Spearheaded by Fray Roderick Deguit, OAR, Vicarial Youth Director, and Judith Mondejar, President of RAY-Caidiocan Chapter and President of VYC, the youth camp started with the registration where 254 delegates officially signed in on June 21, 2019, followed by the Opening Mass presided by Fray Deguit, OAR. After the Holy Mass, the Opening Program was done to welcome the participants.
During the second day, series of talks from invited speakers tackling on the youth and vocation awareness were scheduled. Ms. Maria Theresa Aranco from University of San Jose-Recoletos Campus Ministry Office gave a talk on the theme. She also gave a workshop for the youth about their role as youth in the Church. Mini talk entitled “LTE: Let’s Talk Experiences” shed light on vocation awareness was also presented by speakers who came from the different sectors of the church. Mr. and Mrs. Entanal shared their experience as married couple. Ms. Herculana and Ms. Flora Cardo added their insights on how to be happy and contented as single-blesseds. Sharing their religious life with the youth, Sr. Juliet Naga from the Sisters of Mt. Carmel and Br. Fidel Moreno from the Marian Missionaries, gave a talk on religious vocation.
After the talks, the participants were divided into ten teams for the team building activity. This activity helped the participants to know more their co-youth from different parishes and quasi-parishes in the Vicariate of St. John. It was also an avenue to build unity, teamwork, camaraderie and trust among the youth.
In the evening of the second day, the Cultural Night was held at San Pedro Academy-Recoletos grounds. The youth from different parishes and quasi-parishes showcased their talents in singing, dancing, and dramatics. After the presentations, CFC-YFC Provincial Chapter led the participants to praise the Lord through music, singing, and dancing.
The third day was opened with the praying of the Holy Rosary at dawn. Following the praying of the Holy Rosary was a Zumba exercise led by Benedict Lobo, a RAY member. To memorialize their presence in Caidiocan and to show their love for Mother Nature, the participants did tree planting activity which they tagged as “Plant a Tree Today.”
The last part of the youth camp was the Holy Mass presided by Msgr. Julius Heruela, Vicar Forane of the Vicariate of St. John. After the Holy Mass, the Closing Program was held. The participants were excited during the program. They were excited because their cellphones and gadgets, which were collected at the beginning of the youth camp, were given back to them. But the memories, friendships, and insights that they gained from the youth camp were kept in their heart by each delegate as they went back to their respective homes.
(photos by Emat Nitz, Mark Villanueva Vendiola, Analyn Martinez, and Miray Sandoy-Tindog Nuñez)