Saint Louis University was chosen as one of the delegates to the 2023 Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines Youth Leadership Summit at Bukal ng Tipan, Taytay Rizal, with the theme “Growing in Synodality” on May 5, 6, and 7, 2023. The 3-day summit is sponsored by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and partnered by the Simbahang Lingkod Bayan (SLB) and Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC).
The summit aims to give chances for young leaders to increase their self-awareness and leadership skills, strengthen their sense of civic participation, address specific concerns, and form a network of young leaders. The summit also emphasized the need for synodality in addressing various challenges affecting the church, youth, and community. The event encourages more participative and inclusive governance inside organizations.
The student delegates of SLU were Jerel Xaver G. Beltran, 1st Year BA Political Science Student (STELA), the 1st Year Representative of the Political Science Academic Society (POSAS), and Alexandra Gargar, 1st Year BSBA Marketing Management Student (SAMCIS), the 1st Year Vice Mayor – KASAMA/SSC SAMCIS Assembly. They were accompanied by Ms. Geraldine Aldanese from the Office of Students Affairs.
The first day of the summit is dedicated to delegates’ and formators’ self-awareness and discovery, their leadership journey, and physical activities that broaden and strengthen their capacity and capabilities as Christian Student Leaders, as well as understanding the true meaning of Synodality through various activities. The second day focuses on external issues and challenges confronting today’s youth, such as societal analysis and inspiration, Youth Philippine Situationer, Youth Panels for Advocacy Work, and Design Thinking. It also focused on several discussions about JEEPGY, which stands for Justice and Peace, Ecological Integrity, Engaged Citizenship, Poverty Alleviation, Gender Equality, and Youth Empowerment. On the third and final day, the speaker emphasized the ability of youth to lead the way in shepherding the least and the lost.
For young leaders to make a difference, they must collaborate and work in harmony, which aligns with the genuine meaning of synodality: “walking and journeying together as God’s people.” The summit concluded with a solemn mass that included a graduation, Eucharistic celebration, and the awarding of the certificates.