Diocesan Youth Coordinators Gathering
By Marcellin Kerepas
Diocese of Bougainville
Nineteen diocesan youth coordinators gathered at Kefamo Conference Center, Goroka from 18th to 25th November, representing all the Catholic dioceses of Papua New Guinea. The meeting was organized by Fr. Shanthi Puthussery PIME, Secretary of the Commission for Youth and Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (CBC). The purpose of the gathering was to evaluate the pastoral care of young people in the dioceses and to develop plans for the year 2013.
As Fr. Shanthi began his office in April 2011, an evaluation was immediately conducted to assess the pastoral care of young people in the dioceses. The information was gathered through a diocesan level census of the pastoral care of the young people covering the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Based on this evaluation Fr. Shanthi came up with the 'Doing by Learning - Learning by Doing' materials for 2012 for all the Catholic young people in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands , which were distributed in the dioceses through the youth coordinators in November 2011 during their gathering.
By November 2012, according to the individual reports, Alotau, Bougainville, Kavieng, Rabaul and Wewak dioceses have done very well because those respective diocesan youth coordinators have worked hard with the learning materials. Aitape, Bereina, Kerema, Lae, Port Moresby and Vanimo have tried with the learning materials and gradually got into an organized pastoral care of the young people in their respective dioceses. Mendi diocese has translated the materials into Tok Pisin; other dioceses have made their own way and not much was reported.
Fr. Shanthi has conducted eight days of parish youth leaders' leadership training in eleven dioceses in 2012, and gave them grades like 'Excellent' to Alotau and Port Moresby dioceses; and 'Very Good' to Bougainville, Rabaul and Wewak dioceses. Others received 'Good' and 'Satisfactory'. The grading was a bit of surprise for all the youth coordinators! Fr. Shanthi has distributed his schedule and timetable of the parish youth leaders' leadership training for the dioceses still to be visited in 2013.
By now 'Doing by Learning - Learning by Doing' materials for the year 2013 have also been printed with 61 pages in 3000 copies for the distribution to the dioceses. The focus of the learning materials 2013 is faith as part of the celebration of the "Year of Faith" (11th October 2012 - 24th November 2013).
The outcome of the discussion on the "Resolutions of Responsibilities of a Diocesan Youth Coordinator" was the highlight of the gathering of the diocesan youth coordinators 2012 in Goroka last week, although the discussion of it began in 2011. Nineteen diocesan youth coordinators, the Secretary of the Commission for Youth and Laity and the Deputy Bishop for Youth, Most Rev. Rochus Tatamai MSC of Bereina, signed the document during a prayerful ceremony. A laminated copy of it was sent to the Bishops through the respective youth coordinators.
During the gathering, Marcellin Kerepas from Bougainville and Vincent Damien Numbos from Port Moresby dioceses, presented the 'eight stages of life', the 'four areas of formation' and 'vocation' from the parish youth leaders' leadership training to the diocesan youth coordinators.
The session with Fr. Giorgio Licini PIME, CBC Secretary for Social Communication, on Catholic Reporter, the CBC Website and other initiatives of his office shed much light to the youth coordinators.
The presence of Bp. Rochus Tatamai MSC, Deputy Bishop of the Commission for Youth, made the eight days of the Diocesan Youth Coordinators gathering very significant and meaningful because his words of encouragement to every participant were direct and inspirational. As he represents the Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands his words have encouraged every all coordinators. (cbcpngsi.org – firstname.lastname@example.org)