Participants of the Montañosa Youth Minister’s Conference
Young people from parishes in the northern region of Cordillera
gathered in Baguio City this week “to share how God changed their lives” and to show concern for the environment.
There is a need for the youth to “act and move together for the betterment of society,” said Benfloyd Aban, 22, an education graduate from Benguet State University
Aban is one of the 200 participants of the Montañosa Youth Minister’s Conference (MYMC) being held in Bontoc town from April 12 to 15.
Father Ricky Belino, youth director of the Diocese of Baguio
, said the conference aims to bring to the region the essence of celebrations of World Youth Day
declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and the 25th Anniversary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth
“With the ECY theme ‘Looking back to the past, focusing at the present, gazing into the future,’ the conference will bring youth ministers back to evangelization, leading to a more intense discipleship and more committed involvement in social transformation,” Father Belino said.
The conference gathered participants for “discipleship” and mentoring on becoming “good stewards of nature,” he said.
“We do it in the region in response to the challenges and concern of the youth of today,” the priest said.
MYMC focuses on the role of the youth in society but “we need to become disciples first and then respond to the need of the ecology,” he added.
With the lessons from the calamities that hit the world and the devastating typhoons that ruined villages in the region, he said, young people need to do something for the environment.
The Cordillera office of civil defense, which has already started a campaign for disaster preparedness, said at least 500 died and millions of pesos worth of properties were lost to typhoons in recent years.