Diocesan youth contribute chapter to book

By Elsa Baughman
JACKSON – A group from the Diocese of Jackson contributed to a book to be used by the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) nationally during Lent and Easter Season in 2016. Veronica López, an associate in the diocesan Office of Hispanic ministry, and 11 other young Hispanic adults from the diocese traveled to Shreveport in September to finish writing and submit chapter six of the book “Mercy:  Seeing all with God’s eyes.”
Each one of them wrote a part of chapter six, titled “Mercy Missioners,” during several meetings and then gathered and edited the text for the book that will be presented to them already published in a workshop to be held in St. Augustine, Fla., in February 2016.
On Oct. 3, Izamar Mazy, a member of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle, on behalf of the Jackson diocese, presented a copy of chapter six to Dr. Juan José Rodríguez, SEPI’s Hispanic regional youth and young adults coordinator. He will take all the chapters back to SEPI where they will be integrated into one book. Each year since 1980, SEPI has coordinated the preparation and publication of a book in which young people apply the paschal mystery to a topic that they themselves choose and that they believe to be of importance and relevance in their own    lives.
To initiate the process of writing, adult counselors and some youth representatives meet in the spring to select a topic. During two more meetings participants worked on the text of their specific chapter coached by adult counselors who guide them to study different aspects of the selected topic, looking into the subject to which the pascal mystery will be applied.
In previous years they have dealt with different subjects such as freedom, love, community, identity and evangelization.
This book will be used in dioceses throughout the southeastern United States who use SEPI for catechesis and leadership training during the Easter of 2016. Each week consists of dynamics and activities that are carried out in the group to better understand the message.
The book uses church documents on the subject studied, testimonies, thoughts or ideas offered by the young people to delve into the issue selected. It also includes prayers, songs, activities and projects to be conducted outside of the meetings.
When the finished book is presented to them in February, the youth will be trained on how to use it and how to promote it in their own parishes during the Easter season. This helps the young people go from being parishioners to contributors and eventually to community leaders in their faith communities.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Jackson, during a meeting of Hispanic leaders in which pastors, lay eccesial ministers and Bishop Joseph Kopacz participated, López gave an overview of the process of writing, editing and using this Lenten resource which will be published both in English and Spanish. She encouraged Hispanic leaders to use the book and told them if they are interested she would visit their communities and show them how to use it.