|Official Name||Catholic Youth Organization in the Philippines|
|Other Name or Acronym||C.Y.O.|
|Vision||The general purpose of the organization is the well-rounded and
total formation of the Filipino Catholic Youth.
|Mission||a.Strengthen the belief of the youth in God, in His words and in His teachings;
b. Develop the personality of its members spiritually, socially, intellectually and physically;
c. Develop the leadership capabilities of its members, especially for social actions and civic projects;
d. Cultivate and improve the cultural and artistic talents of its members in a productive manner;
e. Aid the home, the school and the church in the development of the youth’s personality through a well-rounded program of activities; and
f. Provide opportunities for the youth in using their leisure time wisely by engaging in vocational programs.
|Year Accredited w/ Laiko|
|History||CATHOLIC YOUTH ORGANIZATION
In 1919, Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, then the Reverend Father Sheil, was a Chaplain in the Cook Country Jail in the State of Illinois, U.S.A. Day after day he saw and talked with the boys who had been sentenced to long terms and even executions. He realized more and more that these boys were not so different fundamentally from the millions of boys outside the prison cells. Most of them were the victims, at an early age, of broken homes and of neglect. Bored and restless, they had committed petty crimes simply out of resentment against their parents and the whole adult world that seemed to be so completely disinterested in them.
Essentially, their needs were no different from those of other young people. First, was the need for that sense of security that comes from belonging to a group and being wanted. Next, was the need to develop their own personalities, to express themselves in some creative way, and to feel important in the eyes of others.
The Bishop realized that a program of preventions could prove more helpful than one of punishment. He founded the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in 1930, with a Charter that defines as its purpose:
“TO PROMOTE AMONG CATHOLIC YOUTH A RECREATIONAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND RELIGIOUS PROGRAM THAT WILL ADEQUATELY MEET THEIR PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS IN THEIR AFTER-SCHOOL HOURS, AND WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, CREED, OR COLOR, TO ASSIST THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED TO INSPIRE, DIRECT AND GUIDE THE NATURAL CREATIVE INSTINCTS AND DESIRES OF YOUNG PEOPLE INTO THOSE WORTHWHILE CHANNELS WHICH PERMIT THE WIDEST EXPRESSIONS OF PERSONALITY, INDIVIDUALLY OR IN GROUPS, WHILE INSTILLING IN THEIR MINDS AND HEARTS A TRUE LOVE OF GOD AND COUNTRY.”
In the Philippines, the Catholic Youth Organization was organized in 1938 by Rev. George J. Willmann, S.J., with the Sampaloc Parish of Our Lady of Loreto as the Pilot Unit.
The Sampaloc Unit pursued the objectives laid down by Bishop Sheil in the U.S.A. The local CYO, however, did not become a part of the CYO in the U.S.A., but pursued its own objectives relevant to local demands.
From 1938 to 1941, the three years that followed the establishment of the Sampaloc Unit, were years of inspiration for the organization.
The favorable reaction of the Catholic population Of Sampaloc and its environs gave Father Willmann the impetus he very much needed, and the good Father thus pursued his policy of organizing unit after unit not only in the parishes in the City of Manila but also in the parishes in the neighboring cities and towns. There were at least twenty CYO Units that were establishing during the three years.
In December 1941, World War II broke out, and although Father Willmann was not necessarily shattered in his dreams of a vast CYO in the country, the spread of the organization was greatly hampered. Practically, the CYO Units that were established before the war rheotorically stood still. No new Units were organized during the war years. However, the youths who were already in the CYO were active during the war years, assisting the Catholic Community Services which was formed by the Catholic organizations in the City of Manila and its suburbs. The CYO Units were particularly active in helping the Knights of Columbus Manila Council No. 1000, St. Rita’s Hall on Taft Avenue in Ermita where a soldier’s canteen was established; at the Regina Building on the Escolta where another refuge center was organized, and at the Espiritu Santo Church in Sta. Cruz where still another social corner for war victims were given assistance. In these places, the CYO Units assisted in social works, janitorial services, messenger jobs, marketing errands, and other helpful necessities. But their most important work was to assist in the strengthening of the moral fiber of people who has weakened their Faith-taught them not to lose faith in God to pray for Him, to ask His forgiveness, to give whatever gifts they could offer with their hearts and with their souls.
During the years that followed the war, reconstruction upon the ruins and ashes of the battlefields taught the youths the unique characteristics of self -help which now identified the CYO Units all over the country, numbering at present 235 Units, with a total membership of more than 4,000. While the vocational program counted a lot, self-help taught members to be enterprising. In additional to the vocational program, the boys and girls spend most of their leisure time in religion, social, civic, cultural and recreational activities.
In 1965, the two big fires in Gagalangin and in Tondo provided the CYO with the major relief project for the year. After each fire, representatives were made to join the Catholic Relief Services and with CARE for relief goods and other forms of aid which were distributed to the victims. This action was repeated during the catastrophic floods in 1972.
The CYO in 1967-68, paid attention to the spiritual regeneration of its members in addition to its other objectives of promoting sports and athletics, recreational affairs and outings, fund raising campaigns, reactivating “dead” cottage industries, conservation of parks, forests, wildlife and other natural resources along with building their own clubhouses, organizing more units, and campaigning for members.
Just before Martial Law was proclaimed in 1972, the CYO becam an affiliate of the World Assembly of Youths, and as such, it is granted the privilege to select a representative to the five-month training course in Japan, covering such seminars as family planning, leadership training, love, courtship and marriage, and other youth programs.
With the theme “Keep Christ in Christmas”, the CYO Units in Metropolitan Manila and the CYO Federation in Imus, Cavite, held a joint Christmas celebration on December 20, 1976. With this festival as a nucleus, all Units in Metro Manila jointly celebrate Christmas as an annual feast.
Sponsored by the CYO National Office, the CYO units and the Columbian Squires Circles in Metro Manila held on April 10, 1977, a joint sports festival at the KC athletic grounds in Intramuros, Manila. Because of the success of this sports festival, the joint activity has become an annual affair.
|Organizational Structure||The CYO is a youth organization composed of groups called ‘Units’.
There shall be a National Chaplain who shall have supervision over the spiritual/religious activities and oversee other programs and projects of the organization in the national level. He shall be recommended during the National Biennial Convention (NBC) for appointment by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP/ECY). He shall continue to serve as such unless sooner replaced by the CBCP/ECY upon recommendation of the NBC.
There shall be an Assistant National Chaplain recommended during the National Convention with the approval of the National Chaplain.
There shall be a National Executive Board (NEB) composed of a National President, Vice-President for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, a National Secretary, a National Treasurer and a National Auditor who shall be elected during the National Biennial Convention by the Unit Presidents or their duly authorized representatives.
There shall be a Diocesan/District Assembly (DA) composed of all Units in a particular diocese or province represented by the Unit Presidents or their duly authorized representatives. It shall elect from its assembly a coordinator. In case where no DA existed yet in the diocese or province there shall be a CYO Networking Assembly. It shall be composed of unit president, vice-president and two (2) official representatives who shall be appointed by the unit president. It shall elect a chairman.
|Composition of Membership||Must be Catholic young men and women, single from ages eleven (11) to thirty-nine (39) shall be eligible to join for membership in CYO.
Fourteen (14) years old will be the basis for admission.
|Programs/ trainings being offered||
|Affiliations||– Sanggunian Laiko ng Pilipinas
– Archdiocesan Youth Organizations and Movements
|Official Contact Address||Caritas Bldg., 2002 Jesus St.
|Official Contact Numbers||Tel. # 563-9306, 564-1831 loc. 208|
Members of CYO National Executive Board:
NATIONAL PRESIDENT : Aristotle Brecino
NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT FOR LUZON: Rolan Bayona
NATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT FOR MINDANAO: Arvin Martinez
NATIONAL SECRETARY: Lourdez Navarro
NATIONAL TREASURER: Jermilyn Vargas
NATIONAL AUDITOR: Ma. Theresa Ballo
NATIONAL CHAPLAIN: Fr. Jerome Cruz