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SYM: Together, We Make History

Makati City, the Philippines, 2 December 2017—This day marks a milestone in the Salesian Congregation’s history in the Philippines as the Salesian Youth
Movement’s core groups from the FIN, FIS, and FMA gathered together for the National Coordinating Team Meeting for the first time. This is a hope-filled stride towards a One Salesian Youth Movement in the Philippines, in time for it’s 30th anniversary in 2018.

In this joint meeting, Fr. Cunegundo Gargaganta, the Executive Secretary of
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY), andFr. Jose Dindo S. Vitug SDB, Executive Director of Don Bosco—One TVET organization facilitated the process.

Fr. Jose Lorbeth Vivo SDB, FIN Commission on Youth Ministry Delegate, gave the participants a crash course on what the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) is according to the Salesian Youth Ministry Frame of Reference. This laid out a common ground that led to a common understanding of what SYM is. Fr. Garganta gave the participants a look into the current situation of the youth of the Philippines according to the data gathered through the DaNGKAL an acronym for Datos ng Galing, Kakayahan, at Lakas (Databank of Talents, Skills and Strengths), a benchmarking tool for the Catholic Youth Ministry in the Philippines.

The meeting also included presentations on the current situation of the FIN, FIS and FMA SYM groups. The participants also shared their insights and views on SYM’s identity, mission, and vision in smaller focused group discussions. Fr. Vitug SDB, synthesized the inputs and reports, and facilitated the discussion on what move the whole group would want to take next.

The SYM groups agreed to continue the process and involve more of their leaders and animators towards, hopefully, a vision-mission for One SYM Philippines on its 30th year. The journey may be long but at long last, a step ahead was made—a history indeed.

by Jessa Mariel Dela Peña, SYM-FIN Junior Provincial Animator

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