Around 170 young Lasallians from 10 countries of Pacific Asia Regional Conference (PARC) gathered for the 11th Asia Pacific Lasallian Youth Congress (APLYC11) last December 3-9, 2017 at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines.
APLYC has been a venue for the youth in PARC to meet and immerse with the cultures of their fellow Lasallians in the region. The program centered on the theme “Lasallians Without Limits,” to celebrate the diversity of the experiences that contribute to the Lasallian Mission.
Here are reflections from some participants of APLYC11:
“An eye opening experience that made me aware of the wider Lasallian community I was part of. A family that was one, one big family!” – Vedant Chauhan, Singapore
“It widened my horizon about the cultures of different countries in PARC and reminded me that as long as we are a community and if we have faith in one another, we can change the world. This experience made me step out of my comfort zone and left me with meaningful lessons. This is truly a rich experience.” – Mark Cheung, Hong Kong
“I was assigned to go to New Bilibid Prison for our community exposure activity. We expected scary people to walk towards us and try to intimidate us but really, everyone was smiling and greeting us, it didnt feel like a prison at all. This went on until we reached the prison school where we were taken in for an orientation and got to meet two inmates. They told me their life stories how they missed their families but also how they wanted to fix their mistakes. Its actually incredible the power that God can give a person who is basically drowning in his own guilt and sadness. The talent, love and care of the inmates inspired me!” – Sharky Roxas, Philippines
Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC, Visitor of the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD), in his closing remarks during the feast day of the Immaculate Concepcion addressed the APLYC 11 group: “As you go into an important stage in your life, making key decisions about your fututre, I pray that you will acquire a discerning heart and eyes that see with faith. It is not always easy to discern what God’s will is in our life but if your decisions point you towards what is life giving, if you can make the most loving decisions possible, if you are able to contribute to peace, if you can build community then you know that you are in the right direction.”
Our time together during APLYC 11 allowed each one of us, from the organizers to the delegates and to the adult leaders, to share experiences of Faith, Service and Community highlighting best practices and a rich exchange of ideas. With all these, we hope that the congress has inspired all Lasallians in APLYC 11 to stregthen their commitment to serve the last, the lost and the least in their own local realities.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!
Patrick Lo & Celine Ocampo