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RELIGIOUS EDUCATORS. The Xavier Ateneo Senior High School successfully conducted the 2nd Regional Conference for Religious Educators on April 10 and 11. Supplied photo.   

Bearing the theme “Fostering and Nourishing Vocations,” the Xavier University Senior High School (XUSHS) successfully held the 2nd Regional Conference for Religious Educators, Campus Ministers, Formators, and Guidance Counselors, focusing on how to use their vocations to reach out to the millennials.  

In partnership with St John Vianney Theological Seminary, the event was held on April 10 and 11 at Xavier Ateneo’s main campus. Fr Norlan H Julia SJ, rector of St John Vianney Theological Seminary, welcomed the participants from various institutions across Northern Mindanao. 

The event featured sessions that equipped the participants with the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate with the youth in the face of technological advancements.

In his presentation during the first day, Fr Karel S San Juan SJ, president of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, discussed the identity of the current youth as millennials through detailed frameworks. He also showed ways on how to lead and introduce the youth to their desired vocation and find their purpose in life. 

In the second plenary, Dr Dulce R Dawang, Xavier Ateneo’s VP for basic education, shared the K-12 transition experiences of the university, particularly on the challenges that came with the educational reform.

“We didn’t have a road,” Dawang said. “We didn't know how senior high school would be like — but we had to prepare for it.” 

Due to the varied specializations and roles of the participants, breakout sessions were held, covering a wide expanse of topics tailored to specific audiences. A total of 19 sessions (excluding the plenaries) took place during the two-day event.


RELIGIOUS EDUCATORS. The Xavier Ateneo Senior High School successfully conducted the 2nd Regional Conference for Religious Educators on April 10 and 11. Supplied photo.   

Among the Catholic majority, there were also seminars that zeroed in on interfaith dialogue and cooperation in peacebuilding. 

Sa Marawi [siege], all of us were affected. So, we worked together, as one, in the name of humanity,” said Monalisa Pangan, one of the speakers. Pangan is one of the campus ministers of XU. 

Religious diversity also served as the theme for other seminars, such as Ministering Children of Multi-religious Families, Mary in the Context of Islam, and Formation for Interfaith Communities.

Several strategies for influencing the youth were also brought into view. During the Promoting Vocation among Digital Citizens session, Instructional Technology specialist Lea Emata highlighted understanding the "technological priorities" of the millennials. She pointed out that it is important to identify the “skills and competencies that they have so that they can be used meaningfully.”

Other talks were as follows: Diocesan Priesthood, The RE/Catechist as Vocation Promoter, Shepherding Millennials, Vocation through Art, Vocation to Married Life and Consecrated VirginityPromoting Ecological Consciousness in RE Curriculum, Facilitating Retreat and Recollection, Growing Leaders in the Young, Fostering Sexual Maturity, Fostering Spiritual Leadership: “The ACCMA Experience, Adolescent Dynamics, Igniting Vocation in the Youth, Positive Psychology, and GCO: Debriefing and Traumatic Experiences.

Xavier Ateneo president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ celebrated the community mass before the distribution of certificates to the participants of the said regional conference.

The sessions and participants were diverse yet unified by a core purpose — to improve the performance of religious educators, formators, guidance counselors, and campus ministers in helping the youth pursue a vocation in life and heed the call of Pope Francis to serve in the peripheries.∎


K-12 PROGRAM. Dr Dulce R Dawang (rightmost), Xavier Ateneo’s VP for basic education, shared the K-12 transition experiences of the university, particularly on the challenges that came with the educational reform. Supplied photo.