It has been a week after Easter and yet St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul is as busy as how the Holy Week was. Our Feast Day Novena Journey has begun on the 22nd of April 2022 which consists of a 9-day Novena Journey. This year, we have proudly welcomed our new Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Frederick Joseph to our church. He has finally returned home after 21 years since 2001 as an Assistant Parish Priest and is currently our Parish Priest.
It has been a tremendous change for many of St. Joseph’s parishioners, especially for the Youth Ministry as Father Frederick gave us a challenge to make a strong foundation of our Youths for the present and future of our Church. We have gathered a group of youths to work on our first project, which is to host a Youth Rally for the youths of our church. The rally was planned to be held in conjunction with our Feast Day this year, to bring back the spirit of the youths of our parish and encourage them to come serve in the Church with our Feast Day being the stepping stone.
A group of youths with an embodiment of 12 members with no experience in hosting our very own event went through tough challenges, from organising the event and getting the target needed to make it successful. With our Patron Saint being, St. Joseph The Worker, we were inspired and showed our dedication by having multiple online meetings and discussions. As the outcome of our discussions, we decided on a theme which is Inside Out: Being Pure Starts From Within. Our focal point for this rally was to focus on purity in our lifestyles, our families, and the relationships we have with others. It was a bizarre theme to go with, but we intentionally chose this theme in order to provide our youths a basic understanding of purity as we transition into a new phase in life.
With the help of our advisors and our sheer hard work, we managed to get 70 participants to join for this two-day event. Youths from ages of 14 to 30 have joined us and gave us an opportunity to learn what it’s like to be a youth from a young age to the age we will grow to. The turnout was outstanding and the organizers were in disbelief. We were blessed and thankful to those who took part and took their graceful time in spreading the word on this rally and joining us. We are grateful to our Parish Priest, Father Frederick and our Resident Priest, Monsignor James for being our advisors, providing us the insights that was needed and fulfilling our needs to ensure that this event will be bring change.
We started out the rally with a session by Fr. Frederick and Monsignor James where they told their vocation stories which were very eye-opening and inspiring. We then had a few group activities with the youths for them to create bonds with one another. The activities we had were specially tailored to the youths who are ever so energetic and creative. We also had a few sessions with Fr. Cyril who gave a good talk about purity at home and in relationships.
The rally was filled with games and activities, that brought a lot of joy and togetherness to everyone.
One of the sessions pictured their new bond very well, which was the Drama and Skits that brought a lot of meaning in working together as a team with a limited amount of time to prepare and present. The end result of the session was something we hoped for, everyone did well with their performances. There were a lot of new faces that we met and it was very wholesome. By the end of the rally, despite being broken down into different groups, the Youths stayed united and formed a new bond as this spirit within them kept them together till the end and this shows that we have reached a new milestone. We are delighted that we broke the sturdiness of everyone, from being in their own circle to explore and find new friendships.
From this rally, we have learned and understood the needs of our youths, we have received constructive criticisms and feedbacks to make the upcoming events much better than before. With this spirit and foundation formed, we pledged to grow even bigger and join the likes of the other churches with a strong and big foundation. Their successful stories have inspired us and one day we shall inspire others to be like us. The Youth Rally ends, but our journey in faith has just begun. Our faith could start as small as a mustard seed, it will someday grow into a big tree.
Andronicus Valentino Gonsalverz and Clarissa Hoong Xiu Yan
Youths of St. Joseph’s Church