By Mark Harvey Elloren
“Year of Service-YOS is a preparation for further service which is the Parish Ministry.” This is the message of Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ to seven Philosophy graduates as volunteers for the Year of Service (YOS) Batch 17 during the sending off Mass last July 14, 2010 at the Immaculate Conception Chapel, Xavier University. Archbishop Ledesma celebrated the sending off Mass with the Seminary Fathers of San Jose de Mindanao Seminary and some Parish Priests.
Xavier University’s Community Outreach and Resource Development Volunteer Program (CORDVP), the new name for YOS, is a one year program for fresh college graduates to work for development of rural sector and communities.
In his homily, the Archbishop who was the founder of YOS way back 1991, reminded the seven volunteers the main objective of YOS is Service. “This is a year for helping the local communities,” he said.
Six of the volunteers are seminarians from San Jose de Mindanao Seminary namely: Aldin Dumio who is assigned in Taglimao, Cagayan de Oro City; Jefferson Opaon in Initao, Misamis Oriental; Bryan Pacanut in Guinsiliban, Camiguin; Julian Raut-raut Jr. in Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Gil Sucupayo in Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental; Mark Joshua Zaportiza in Baliwagan, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental. Chandy May Palas, the only female volunteer , is assigned in Zamboanga Sibugay.
San Jose de Mindanao Seminary recently linked with the CORDVP, sending their seminarians as volunteers before giving them recommendation to study theology.
As part of the preparation, the volunteers were trained for 30 days and were exposed in different local communities in Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental.
CORDVP is sending volunteers yearly as human resource to various NGOs, dioceses and parishes to promote more development in rural communities in Mindanao. This year’s batch is focused more on the development of BECs in the parishes where they are assigned with the help of the Parish Priests as their supervisors.