MANILA, Feb. 4, 2013—In order to effectively respond to the spiritual needs of the young faithful, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) will conduct a survey among young Filipinos this year to come up with future programs that will better suit their profiles.
The conduct of a “National Filipino Youth Survey” is one of the ECY’s plans this year after marking its 25 anniversary in 2011. ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said the survey results will serve as a “relevant” foundation for the ECY’s formation program for youth ministers as front-liners in the youth apostolate.
The CBCP executive admitted that the survey questions and methodologies have not been finalized yet as the group tasked to formulate them—composed of representatives from the ECY, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas—is still undergoing its planning.
“But it has to happen this year,” Garganta told YouthPinoy in an interview.
“The survey will give the ECY a good representation of the status of the youth these days and it will help the Church to better respond to the signs of the times and create programs that are effectively rooted in the needs of the youth,” he added.
Garganta’s disclosure about the “National Filipino Youth Survey” came after ECY chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon made a bold statement that the youth ministry in the Philippines is ready to reach out to the 70 percent of young people that are far from the Church’s reach.
In an earlier interview with YouthPinoy, Baylon admitted that the ECY’s programs have been crafted mainly to sustain and nurture the percentage of young Catholics who are already active in the Church.
But the ongoing celebration of the Year of Faith has convinced ECY officials that the real challenge for the youth ministry is to reach those who are beyond the Church’s ambit.
“The Church – we had been saying – [is] so inward looking, looking at what is already there, the 30 percent. We tend to take care of this alone,” Baylon said.
“It is about time that we looked outside of this 30 percent and this is what this Year of faith is all about,” the prelate added.
But aside from profiling the Filipino youth, the survey will also help the ECY in terms of capacity building.
Garganta said the survey will determine the direction for ECY to “reinvent” itself to better journey with the youth.
“As a way to respond to the signs of times, the survey will help the ECY draft its mission and vision and to be clear on its roles and responsibilities,” he added.
The CBCP-ECY marks its anniversary every July 6.
According to the commission’s official website http://cbcp-ecy.ph, the ECY is initially a committee under the Episcopal Commission on Lay Apostolate (ECLA) during the period 1976-1985. This period marked the rise of national youth organizations and movements and the creation of youth ministry structures within the dioceses. Diocesan youth directors, coordinators and leaders head these structures.
During the National Conference for Youth Ministers in January 1986 in Tagaytay City, the delegates, composed of the youth directors, coordinators and leaders, proposed for the creation of a separate commission specifically for the youth. The bishops acknowledged the need for a commission that addresses all youth ministry concerns distinctively. During the CBCP Plenary Assembly in June 1986, they unanimously approved the creation of the ECY. (YouthPinoy)