Last December 27-29, 2014, thirty seven (37) youth leaders from a total of eight (8) northern and southern Cebu parishes gathered at the Blessed John 23rd in Mabolo, Cebu City for the most awaited Aspirants’ Training Camp (ATC).
In this ATC, 75% of the participants sent by the parishes were non-Chiro members who would establish or put up Chiro as children’s ministry in the parish, says one of the Cebu trainors,* Mitzi Mariel Lobrino (Regional Leader). Attendance of both chiro and non-chiro leaders together in a camp is considered a great opportunity to foster understanding and cooperation in establishing Children’s ministry in the parishes. It has been the vision of alumni Chiro leaders for some time now to revive different Chiro groups in the Archdiocese. Hopefully, the new and revived groups will slowly grow to bring more of Christ’s joy in the hearts of the young every Sunday afternoon.
For those with existing local groups, the ATC helped them understand more about the methodologies and spirit of Chiro in connection with Kalakbay (Youth Ministry Directory). It also helped them improve on their technical skills in handling activities for children in their respective parishes.
Ldr. Mitzi, together with six other Cebu Trainors handled the training camp for the very first time. Handling sessions in training camp is their requirement before they become full trainors. They are: Julius Cemerino (Argao), Jo Beth Benemerito (Buhisan), Andee Lobitana (former LP), Ethel Gerldino (Sangi), FM Ababan (Sangi), and Vinz Domenique Banzon (Danao).
Two trainors from Manila, Ldr. Olan Vera Cruz (National Leader) and Ldr. Russia Vassallo assisted and coached the new trainors in running the program. This ATC discussed (1) What Youth Ministry is and (2) Goals of Youth Ministry according to Kalakbay, and linked it to the Mission and Vision of of Chiro. According to Ldr. Russia, this ATC could be a big help in motivating leaders to serve the church and community more.
When asked about the special gifts they received during the ATC, Ldr. Mitzi said that even for the trainors, it helped in terms of knowledge, experience, and inspiration to serve Christ and the youth more. Ldr. Russia on the other hand was happy to be in Cebu and gain experience with the other trainors. It helped her understand the diverse situation of the children, leaders and the local groups of Chiro in Cebu.
*”Trainor” is a common chiro term used for many years and is used in the same way as ‘Trainer”