As published in the July 24 issue of the Parish Bulletin.
Single Young Adults, or SYA, is a parish-based group that caters to the needs of single adults between the ages of 21-35 years old, bringing Jesus into the hectic lifestyles of today’s young Catholics. In SYA we aim to strengthen one’s relationship with Jesus through a sense of community. It is where conversion and training leaders for ministry takes place.
Last March 11-13, 2016, SYA had its 31st Weekend Retreat welcoming 28 new single young adults to the community. This 3-day stay-out weekend retreat provided an avenue for busy professionals who wish to pause from their hectic lifestyle and discover or rediscover their relationship with Jesus. This was done through a series of talks and exercises catered to the needs of single young adults. What makes this retreat special is that the talks are given by single young adults themselves, so the participants will really feel that they are in the presense of peers instead of experts. It creates a more open environment, which leads to a more meaningful experience.
The week after the SYA 31st Weekend Retreat, the community began its Holy Week celebrations by visiting beautiful churches around Antipolo for our yearly Bisita Iglesia. This event was attended by various member of the parish, and served as a great avenue for parishioners to mingle. Aside from the Bisita Iglesia, SYA actively participated in the parish various Holy Week activities such as 7 Last Words and the Holy Thursday Vigil. SYA was also there to witness the 6am Chrism Mass in Manila Cathedral on Holy Thursday, which is a very moving experience as the mass was for the priest and an avenue to thank them for their many contributions. It was wonderful to be cheering on our parish priest, Fr. Reu, as he is always there to cheer us on.
Aside from the bi-yearly weekend retreat and Holy Week activities, we kick off the month by celebrating mass as a community every first Thursday. We call this our Birthday Mass, as the SYAers who are celebrating their birthdays are in charge of this gathering. The mass usually ends with a blessing of the celebrants, and a fun night filled with tons of food and laughter.
Every second and fourth Fridays, SYAers gather at the Adoration Chapel for our Pay Day Prayer session. The easiest way to describe this is like a “Holy Hour” wherein we look back on what The Lord has done for us these past few weeks. We do this through songs, hymns, meditation time, and prayers. This is a very relaxing activtiy, and you will leave the Adoration Chapel feeling renewed and ready to face next 15 days.
Every third Thursday of the month is our Prayer Meetings. This is an avenue for a chosen SYAer to give a talk on a topic relevant to today’s society and our Catholic faith, especially in the context of being a single young adult. This is a great avenue to meet the rest of the community on a more personal level, as group sharings are very much encouraged.
After these activities, SYAers are usually fond of hanging out at board game cafes, karaoke places, and newest must try restaurants – another way to show the bond of community. We also make our own events to foster community bonding. To welcome the latest batch of SYAers, we had a Welcome Party for them in the beginning of April in a restaurant in Bonifacio Global City. It was attended by the new and current SYAers, and was a night filled with music and dance offs! We also organized a Star Wars themed Summer Party, as a way for the community to geek out together as well as to just come together to bond.
As part of the Santuario de San Antonio Parish, SYAers are usually found helping out with the various ministries of the parish as well us with other activities of the Youth of San Antonio (YSA). An example is the 6pm Youth Mass at the Main Church, sponsored by the Youth of San Antonio, every third Saturday of the month. SYA is also looking forward to spending time with the rest of YSA for our upcoming Sports Meet, Game Night, and Youth Concerts! We have a lot of things planned for the rest of 2016, and we cannot wait to share it with everyone in the community.
SYA is here to remind single young adults that their time can be very fulfilling, especially if one shares one’s time, treasures, and talents to do God’s mission of helping out others. A faith family is not just a community that helps you pray, it is also a community that helps you be a better Catholic to other Catholics around you.
If you wish to part of the Single Young Adults community, you can contact Marly Laraya or any of the SYA Council and Team members. Our next retreat is on September 16-18, 2016.