The diocese has had a youth formation program called "100 Days Training" for young people aged 18 to 25 years old. It’s a residential program where the young people stay at the center and attend classes. The director of the center pointed out the four components of the program on personality, Christian faith, Bible, and training to be young missionaries when they return to their respective parishes. The program has been going on for more than 10 years now, and many of the present lay leaders in the different parishes have come from the 100 Days. So he hopes that these young people will take an active role in the life of the Church after they have completed the 100 days.
They have two groups every year: one for boys in the first half of the year, and the other for girls. Every group will have about 40 to 50 participants, with only a few dropping out of the program. The director wants us to help in the program by sharing about our Claretian vocation and charism, in view that some of the boys and girls may be called to become Claretian Missionaries. He also asks about the possibility of having Benedict, one of his lay volunteers, assigned to Biancun to continue helping in youth formation when he becomes a Claretian.
Benedict was a graduate of this 100 Days Training Program 18 months ago. He had finished college and had a stable job, but he began to look for something more in life. That was when a sister told him to go to Biancun and join the 100 Days, which he did. After the program, he volunteered to work at the center and has been one of the facilitators since then.
His family is in a village in Shijiazhuang, about two hours from Biancun. He has two sisters, one elder and the other younger, both of whom are married and with children of their own. While working in the center, he began to consider becoming a priest, and that was when Victor talked to him about us.
I have been asking the Lord to send us non-ex-seminarians, not that ex-seminarians are not good vocations. So far we have had good former seminarians with John, CJ, KC and Peter James. But I would like to see how candidates who have not had any previous experience of life in a seminary would respond as we orient and accompany them in their vocation journey. And now the Lord sends us two young professionals: Joseph and Benedict. Let us continue praying for them, specially for Benedict whose father is sick.