The youth has always been the hope of the Philippine nation, and for the Catholic Church, this same hope becomes the driving force in the time of renewed servant-leaders for the New Evangelization.
On October 6 and 7, a weekend when most of their peers are enjoying a reprieve from school and other daily responsibilities, twenty-nine young men and women answered the call and participated in the first leadership training camp of what will soon be the Creative Arts Ministry (CAM) of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu (BMSN Cebu).
The brainchild of Rev. Fr. Aladdin Luzon, OSA and former university teacher now full-time employee of BMSN Media Center Shiela Mae Gumapon, CAM is slated to be the youngest ministry and the official creative arts arm of the basilica.
“It has always been a dream of mine to establish a group of young individuals who are willing to share their passion to others,” shared Gumapon, who went on to draft a full-fledged proposal that was soon approved by the friars of the BMSN community.
Gumapon has spent a huge part of her life serving the church, and with CAM, she sees the fulfillment of not just her dreams, but also the aspirations of those who wish to express their faith through the arts.
The two-day CAM Leadership Training Camp was held in the grounds of the basilica and saw the participants through many challenges and activities, all centered on community engagement and values formation.
One of the key talks had them determining which of their individual skills are best suited to aid in current and prevalent concerns of the youth. Guest speaker Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad, the first Cebuana recipient of the GMA Network Excellence Award and also an auxiliary member of CAM, shared that serving the community requires the same characteristics almost every young person considers in building their social media personas: for it to be Appealing, Purposive, and Engaging.
Moreover, John Nicko Coyoca, Chapter Head of Ayala Young Leaders Alumni- Cebu (AYLA – Bai) and the Cluster Head of Math and Research Cluster in one of the universities in Cebu, also shared his leadership journey and advocacy as well as what the servant leadership framework really is.
The camp concluded with a graduation rites and induction of both the newly-minted volunteers and officers of the ministry, led by the CAM Chancellor President, Debie Bolhano, ICAP.
Fr. Genesis P. Labana, OSA, who presided the thanksgiving mass, and serves as the spiritual adviser of the ministry, implored the members to remember that volunteerism is not just about what gifts one can offer or give to the church, but it is also a journey of finding meaning and purpose in all that one does.
“No matter how great or small your talent is, it is meant to be shared and not for you alone. It may not matter to you but they matter to God,” he added.
CAM is soon expected to have an institutionalization as an official pillar of BMSN Cebu, whose primary objective is to give the youth an avenue for faith and community-building through creative arts. Christele Isabela Basco – CAM member