CROSSROADS RETREAT' DRAWS RECORD CROWD
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by Maudie Hular, AB Economics, Ateneo
ike Munarriz, CYA administrative :';VL assistant, thought that it was going to be another, ordinary weekend retreat. He had instructed the registration team to expect 80 participants. When registration began at eight in the morning of February 8, they were nervously waiting for people to show up. _ "They came in droves," Mike recalled, "Batches of ten to fifteen arrived together. By 9 AM, the retreat house was packed. Half of me was rejoicing in this tremendous turn-out; the other half was wondering how in the world we were going to accommodate 182 people!" That was a good problem to have. Fortunately, the nuns and helpers at the retreat house allowed us to use the place up to full capacity. It was a glorious weekend! Continued on page 2
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
OF A MAN
Studying in an exclusive school for boys also made me believe that the measure of a man is in his ability to drink liquor, have several girl friends, and act tough. As I was president of the student council and an honor
student, I was rather pleased with myself. I could say to myself, "To by, you're a W
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by Toby Estrella, AB History, UP
How can I adequately express thanksgiving to God who has done so much in my life? I studied in a Catholic school run by Benedictine monks. Although I was in a monastic environment, as far as I was concerned my faith and relationship with God were just part of the curriculum. In fact, for the required daily Gospel reading, I used to copy my classmates' insights, just so I can say something for recitation.
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rounded fe II ow! Good job!" After high school, I first went to the University of the Philippines in Los Banos. There I got involved with a fraternity. Looking back now, I guess I was hungry for strong relationships of brotherhood and commitment. But a Continued on page 3
2 Crossroads Retreat ... from page 1
"Stand at the crossroads and ... ask where the good way is, and walk in it. .. n (Jer6:16)
AT THE CROSSROADS A few years ago, CYA began developing an evangelistic retreat that could bring young people to a point where they would renew their commitment to the Lord-and decide to continue in that process of growth. Culled from years of experience, the Crossroads retreat combines a healthy dose of faith and fun, zeal and zest. The youthful atmosphere is contagious: Walking into a roomful of young people singing, laughing, and sharing
about their faith, one feels the excite~ ment, the earnestness, the sincerity. "Crossroads" is itself an apt title. Young people today, especially those in college, are' at a spiritual and moral crossroads. Too many of their friends have discarded the last vestiges of their "cultural Christianity." Confronted with so many choices in life (values, friends, ideas, career, lifestyle alternatives, etc.) they need help to choose that which is most important, the "one thing needful" that Jesus told Martha: having a personal relationship with Him. A passage from the prophet Jeremiah sums up their situation: "This is what the LORD says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask forthe ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jer 6:16) MIGHTY RUSHING WIND At the last Crossroads, CY A staffer Terry Savage was grinning from ear to ear. He said that the retreat was special. "It was God's answer to our Mission Petition. God has sent forth His Spirit 'like a mighty rushing wind', and is awakening the young people of this country!" The talks helped the participants to
CYA-ILIGAN by Minnie Parangan
For the past six years, God has used CYA-lligan to bring more young people into His Kingdom. From the 23 who responded to His call in 1985, we now have 275 members. This growing achievement was the result of everyone contributing his time, talent, and treasure. And surely, God's grace and blessing made it all possible! Our group's regular activities include a General Assembly every first Friday of
understand the call of God, and our needed response. Saturday night was highlighted by a summons to partake in God'sfeast, if onlywe turnfromour sins and yield to His love. The session was capped by a public commitment to Christ, and a prayer for strength for each participant. Justine Silva, a student from the University of Santo Tomas said: "The retreat opened my eyes and my heart, and touched my life. I have seen the beautiful face of Christ in the CYAers." Jason Gonzales of Don Bosco was one of those "CY Aers" who served as a discussion group leader. "Of course I had my expectations for the retreat," he shared, "but what happened went beyond them. I didn't expect it to be so successful. God revealed Himself to all of us, and imparted great exuberance for us to follow Him with joy."
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the month. There is a weekly gathering for faith-sharing and fellowship in each of the six parishes we're serving in Iligan. We organize Christian concerts and campus gatherings to evangelize more young people. We've noticed that young people are attracted to our group because of the strong relationships we
(Ed's Note: For more information about the Crossroads retreat, you may contact our CYA-Manila office, or any of our groups in other parts of the country. Requests for CYA to conduct Crossroads at your localities may be sent to the CYA Director. Our response will depend on our schedules and resources.)
have with one another; they also see their need for God. Recently, we hosted a three-day leadership training coursewiththetheme: Youth on Discipleship -Onward in Building God's Kingdom." Of the 97 participants, some came from as far as Valencia, Bukidnon. It was a time of being refreshed and challenged to move ahead. Last year we helped CY A-Zamboanga conduct a Christian Life Series. This year we are helping the group in General Santos City conduct a Crossroads retreat. Mindanao is such a vast mission field! May we accomplish more, and bring the CY A cu Itu re to many more youth!
3 Fight the Good Fight ... from page 1
MORE MISSION TEAMS SENT OUT February was a busy month for CY A. as numerous Mission Teams were dispatched to various parts of the country. Rogel Plata, Renee Punzal, Jon Escoto and Luz Anis visited Cagayan de Oro, lIigan, Malaybalay, Cebu and Iloilo, mainly to follow-up those who went to the CY AMindanao Conference last year. Terry Savage, Lorna Campos, Tisha Colayco and Mike Munarriz also went to Cebu to give a CLS week-end together with CYACebu members. Visiting .Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, they were once more wel-
corned by the genial Archbishop who has opened CYA to Cebu. Another team conducted a CLS week-end retreat to some students of the University of the Assumption in Pampanga. They were led by Andrew Guitarte. In March Chito Morales and Vanessa Villarosa went to Cebu to give a Crossroads retreat to some graduating students of a Chinese high school there. In early April, other teams were sent to Naga, Palawan, Laoag and Baguio to conduct similar evangelistic activities.
SMOKEY MOUNTAIN A Mission Team composed of eleven CYA student-leaders has been reaching out to some youth of the Smokey Mountain garbage dump in Tondo for some months now.
Students of the Binhing Pangarap Foundation are taught academic subjects and livelihood skills, but their instructors felt that they also needed ''value education." For instance, a student would drop her studies and accept an offer to go to Japan as an "entertainer." Thus the Foundation invited CY A to help provide spiritual and moral formation for the youth. Led by Allen Ponsaran of CYA-U.P. the team gave a CLS to the students of Binhing Pangarap Foundation. They will continue to conduct follow-up sessions in the months ahead.
CYA-MANILA ENO-OF-SEM STATISTICS By the end of this second semester, almost 400 students completed the Christian Life Series in CY A-Manila. Not counting this figure, another 600 regularly attend our weekly meetings. This past semester was notable for three schools which became CY A associates: Jose Rizal College, Rizal Technological Colleges, and NAMEI. The CYA group at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines also became an affiliate. Congratulations!
SUMMER EVENTS COMING UP Once again we're looking forward to some exciting activities lined up for this summer. These events include a weeklong Summer Training Conference, and a one-day Summer Games. A complete report on these activities will be featured in our next Update.
college fraternity was not the place to find these. After a while, I moved to U.P. in Diliman. I had told my parents the reason was to lower tuition costs, but really, I only wanted to be near my girl friend. I had a selfish reason for changing school, but God used that opportunity to reach me. My girl friend had gotten involved with the CY A group at U. P. She asked me to join their activities. At the same time, the CY A staffers also made friends with me. One time, I met with a CYA staffer right after a fraternity "rumble" [fight]. I was carrying some stones as weapons in case of trouble! Fortunately, there was no further mishap that day.
TURNING POINT What really convinced me to start being serious with God was seeing other young men and women living righteous lives. They were fun-loving people, but they had limits: Once I cracked a green joke; unlike my other friends they didn't laugh. Slowly I turned to God. I joined a Crossroads retreat, and eventually went through the Christian Life Series. During those times I really encountered God-personally and lovingly. I decided to stop my involvement in the fraternity, and joined a new "family," that is, CYA. One time, I was really touched when, after I shared my testimony at a prayer meeting, another CYA member approached me and said, "Toby, I'm willing to give my life for you." None of my frat "brothers" would have said such a thing! Today, I've leamed to prioritize things: God first, certainly. Others come after: Family, studies, etc. The Lord means a lot to me, because I mean a lot to Him. I know the "good fight of faith" will go on as long as I live , but with God's help I aim to persevere.
CYA Volunteers Boost Evangelization Work
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s CY A expands, God also provides us the resources needed to reach out to more young people. For some time now, we have been blessed by some CYA members who, after their graduation, volunteered their time to serve in our outreaches. Take Joan Robledo, for example. An Accounting graduate of the Polytechnic Universityofthe Philippines, she took her board exams last October. But instead of plunging right away into her career, she decided to work as a CYA Volunteer for a few months. Why did she do it? Joan's reply: "In response to what God has called me to do, I want to serve Him out of love and gratitude." Another P.U.P. graduate and Volunteer, Flor Ubalde, answers very simply, "Bitin akosaservice dati [I didn't get enough chance to serve before]!" Or take Coco Avila. A good-looking man who graduated last June from Don Bosco Technical College, Coco decided to volunteer some of his time while studying for his Electronics and Communications Engineering board exams. "When
I was new in CY A, I experienced being helped. Now that I've graduated, I want to help others, if only for a while." CYA Volunteers help staffers in many ways. They give talks to students, do "random evangelization", lead small group meetings and larger prayer meetings, join Mission Teams, and so forth. They also assist in developing new outreaches. For instance, Gherie Pingol helps out in three new schools: Jose Rizal College, Rizal Technological Colleges, and Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Institute (NAMEI). Chona Sebastian is a Volunteer serving in U.P. and Miriam College. Asked what's the most exciting part of her work, she answers, "Running after people! Sometimes it's like playing hide and seek with them, but I enjoy it a lot." With more new outreaches planned and several requests for Mission Teams in the offing, there's certainly a need for more Volunteers. Interested CYA graduates may approach any of our staffers for more information and guidance.
Christ's Youth In Action (CYA) is a Catholic movement of young Filipinos dedicated to evangelizing the youth and training leaders for the service of the Church. We serve colleges, universities, parishes, and renewal groups in Metro Manila and other parts of the Philippines. AFFILIATES. University of the Phil. ippines. Ateneo de Manila University. University of Santo Tomas. Far Eastern University. St. Scholastica's College. Miriam College. Don Bosco Technical College. Araneta University. St. Paul's College (Quezon City). Polytechnic University of the Philippines. CYA-Cagayan de Oro City. CY A-lligan City." CYA-Zamboanga City. ASSOCIATES. Mapua Institute of Technology. Arellano University. "Servants of the Lord's Vineyard" (De La Salle University). Trinity College . San Beda College. UP Law School. Holy Angel University (Angeles City). St. Paul University (Tuguegarao). CYA-Cebu. ASSISTED GROUPS. "Witnesses of Christ" (Marikina). "Dakilang Pangarap· (Tondo). Assumption College (Manila). Philippine School of Business Administration (Quezon City). ·Sweet Voice of Salvation" (Iloilo City). Catholic Youth Ministry (General Santos City). Notre Dame University (Cotabato City). "Sowers' Field (Cagayan de Oro City). St. John's Parish Youth Group (Brunei). Youth Praise Ministry (Singapore). Rizal Technological Colleges. Naval Architecture arid Marine Engineering Institute. Jose Rizal College. La Salle (Bacolod City). UP-Los Banos (Laguna).University of the Assumption (San Fernando, Pampanga). CYA is a "Partner In Mission" with the following communities and renewal movements: Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community. The Light of Jesus Community. Couples For Christ. The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon. Tahanan ng Panginoon. Women for Christ. Lumen Christi. Word of Joy Foundation. All donations to CYA are tax-deductible. Please forward all correspondence to our Offee at 300 P. Guevarra St., San Juan Metro Manila. Telephone Number: 708-095. Fax: 793507.