03/21/2014, 00.00
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"Meet and share Christ," a winning formula for young Filipino catechists

YouCat, a Catholic Youth movement, is one of the busiest in the country, with 8,500 members already involved in catechist training of young converts. Its aim, even on the Internet, is to train "young missionaries" interested in teaching the faith.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) - The goal is "to train young catechists directly but also through the Internet, focusing on quality rather than quantity," said Fr Richard Lagos, head of the Catholic Youth Movement (YouCat, and deacon at the St John the Evangelist Parish in Guimba, Nueva Ecija.

 "Young people who believe in Christ know that they have a mission, and one of the foremost domains is catechist training," the priest explained. And for YouCat, the Internet is a tool for "recruiting" those among them who are interested in becoming catechists.

These recruits are then sent around the country -preferably though to their region of origin - to prepare catechumens to join the Church.

Currently, the group has about 8,500 members and is one of the busiest groups of its kind among Filipino Catholics.

"We focus on those who have had adequate training in their parishes because our aim is to strengthen their faith in the missionary context," Fr Lagos explained.

YouCat training involves three stages: knowing oneself in line with Catholic teaching, develop leadership skills in the religious domain and enhance the knowledge of the faith. In short, for the group, the goal is "to know, share, meet and express."

Although the first contact is made on the Internet, online chats and dedicated sites, "We do not blindly seek to get the largest possible number of members," Fr Lagos noted. Instead, "We focus on the quality of our teaching, not on the number of students."

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