SIBU, Sarawak – Over 200 youth from 12 parishes of Sibu Diocese joined the inaugural Sibu Diocesan Youth Day (SDYD) on 6-10 June 2017 at the Sibu Pastoral Centre Kemunyang here. The five days and four nights
The five-day-four-night programme was attended by youth from various races including Iban, Melanau, Kenyah, and others.
With the theme 4G+ (Green | Grass | Grace | God) “Perfect love drives out fear’’ (1 John 4:18), the youth were given the formation on the Theology of the Body, a session given by speaker Remy Martin Gunsalam of Splendour Project Kota Kinabalu
The programme focused on the original identity, body, sexuality, pure love and reflections on God’s original plan for us. Youths learned the need to go back to their origin, from solitude to unity in order to understand God’s original plan for the human body.
The youth have been called to break the barrier of language, the fear of understanding through various sessions, workshops, and sharing. Most importantly, they learned to let go of their phones and gadgets and all their worries, and learned to put their total trust on God’s original plan. They were also taught the various forms of prayers, participated in games,
They were also taught the various forms of prayers, participated in games, workshops and performances to boost their confidence in speaking. They also learned to share their hardships and weaknesses with one another.
Youths were reminded that humankind is God’s masterpiece, a unique creation, each with different purposes and a gift to one another. They are called to rejoice in their uniqueness in bad times and in good times, called to accept their imperfections, and to be united in their family, community, school and in the society.
Elijah, from Christ the King Church, Bintangor said, “I felt lonely to have only one colour in the 1st workshop, I couldn’t find my true self if I didn’t mingle with others.” For it is only through the sharing of colours and the initiative to ask that one can find oneself.
They also learned that ‘nakedness’ is freedom; free from any desire, free in communication, free in giving and acceptance. Though Adam and Eve were both naked yet they were not ashamed, because they were free; the body and the soul are in harmony with each other. It is sin that destroys the body and soul. Thus the first diabolical plan that Satan did was to create division in family, church community and society. Eventually it brings the culture of ‘deaths’: D – ivorce, E – uthanasia, A – bortion, T – otal Populations Control, H – omosexuality and S – ex Education.
Youths were given time for reflection and sharing session with religious brothers and sisters. They felt relieved to have someone listen to their problems and struggles. Geraldine Anne from St Alphosus Julau said she thanked God for giving her a companion who helped her to fight her struggles and face it with faith.
Ashley Joyce of Sts Peter & Paul Church, Mukah shared, “This youth day has touched me in many ways that I couldn’t explain. During one-on-one sharing with a companion, I was scared to let someone know the troubles I’ve hidden for so long. But my companion was so accepting and loving so I didn’t hold anything back. I just let go and told her everything. When she prayed over me I could feel the Holy Spirit moving in me through her hands and through her prayers for me. I don’t say that my troubles would immediately disappear but I know I could do this through Him who strengthens me. This has made me feel like I want to be part of the SDYD committee, because I want to reach out and help others too.”
At the closing Mass, Bishop Joseph Hii Teck Kwong emphasised on what God has planted in each person. He said humans desire unity with one another. Youths are green and pure and they should put on chastity, “Galau” (means preserve in Iban) sex for marriage. He added another two ‘G’ from the original theme ‘4G+’ which is the
He added another two ‘G’ from the original theme ‘4G+’ which is the ‘Galau’ and lastly ‘Go‘ – to ‘Go’ and share the things they learned from SDYD to the world especially in their own parishes. The next SDYD will be in 2020! – Anna Faustina