Schools’ SYM Meeting
by: Fr. John Quincy Caballo, SDB
St. Louis School of Don Bosco, Dumaguete City, July 28, 2022 – The Pastoral Animation teams from the three major schools of the Salesian Philippines South Province met together here for a three-day meeting. Teams from Don Bosco Technical Institute of Victorias, Don Bosco Technical College – Cebu, and St. Louis School of Don Bosco attended the meeting. Also in attendance is SYM Province Delegate, Fr. Vince Michael Sabal, SDB.
These teams met in order to begin the drafting of an SYM Manual and Handbook for Schools, to set up a Social Media Policy for SYM in schools, to create a merit system for SYM members, and to align and standardize structures and processes between the schools.
The meeting began with a recollection and adoration that reminded the teams of the spirit of the Salesian Youth Movement. Fr. Caballo facilitated the recollection shared the example of Bl. Alberto Marvelli, a fruit of the oratory who became a positive driving force in the Church and society.
The work on an SYM Manual and Handbook for schools has been an elusive dream. The teams set out to begin their drafts in order to document the good practices, protocols and guidelines in place. Within these documents are also the formation guides and topics that will be of future use of youth group animators and formators.
The team also worked on drafting a Social Media Policy that will guide SYM Members in living out their identity as Salesian youth online. The fast rush towards online learning and the ubiquity of the internet, with the pandemic as a catalyst, has given the impetus for these policies.
In order to help in the selection and training of leaders and animators, for schools to determine extra-curricular awards, and to recognize the rich and varied avenues for formation, a merit system was setup. In this system, the SYM-FIS core group will keep a database of SYM members and their participation in the different SYM formation activities. This in turn will yield personal records and profile of a member’s growth and journey in the movement and their respective youth groups.
All these are being set in place in order to aid the creation of a “one FIS school system” among the schools in the Salesian south province, which the recent provincial chapter has dreamt of.
The delegations were led by Fr. Eligio Santos, SDB, Rector and acting Pastoral Animator of DBTI-Victorias, Fr. Keith Amodia, SDB, Pastoral Animator of DBTC-Cebu, and Fr. John Quincy Caballo, SDB, Pastoral Animator of SLSDB-Dumaguete. Lay mission partners also joined. The meeting was further enriched by the presence of Bosconians and alumni who shared their experiences and thoughts.
Documentary works like these are tedious processes that will later bear fruit in the future. The delegates from the schools expressed their dream of a revitalized and reimagined Salesian Youth Movement in Visayas and Mindanao that will produce more saints and heroes.