Every year we offer catechesis and days of prayer, reflexion and games in public and private schools. Now, at the beginning of the academic year here in the Philippines, we were wondering how to continue the proclamation of the faith and the formation of young people during this time of pandemic, where there are no face-to-face classes yet, when God opened a door for us through a priest friend. He asked us: “Do you have any training modules for my young people who want to be catechists for children in the neighbourhood?” We said “yes”. So we have begun to offer a School of Evangelization for young people in different parishes of the Diocese.
So, what is a School of Evangelization for young people? It consists of two days of integral formation where we deepen in Jesus`s call to the mission, seek to encounter the living God in prayer and we get to know Jesus`s mission in the Gospels. During these two days we give the young people some simple tools so they can begin to lead catechetical groups of ten children in different parts of the neighbourhood. We offer these evangelization schools in parishes and we come to them so that people do not have to travel very far.
Where do the youth teach catechism? The places are varied: in the chapel, in the street, at the door of a house or under a mango tree in the shade, etc. We must be very careful: we keep our distance, we all have masks and alcohol, and despite all these precautions that may seem annoying to children, people have a beautiful experience where even the families receive faith in Jesus and love for him through the children who attend catechesis.
After this experience, the young people thanked us for believing in them and told us how wonderful it is that, through them, Jesus can reach the children. Pope Francis invites us to allow young people to discover their mission and to be the ones to evangelize other young people. Certainly they are a credible and valid expression of the love of God and the children recognize it!