News Release

First FSY Facility in Asia Opens to Strengthen the Rising Generation

Marking a significant milestone to strengthen the rising generation, Asia's first "For the Strength of Youth Facility" was unveiled on June 7, 2023. This unique complex, specifically designed for FSY conferences, stands as a testament to the commitment to nurturing and helping the youth have fun, strengthening their faith in Jesus Christ, and feeling joy and belonging as they live the gospel.

Nestled on a vast 24-acre property in Tanay, Rizal, approximately 65 kilometers east of Manila, the facility is poised to welcome up to 7,200 youth and leaders annually. Additionally, it will cater to around 600 participants on a weekly basis, hailing from diverse locations including Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Laguna, Batangas, Lucena, Rizal, Cavite, and Quezon.

The facility's opening day was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication event. Leaders from different faith backgrounds, government representatives, and civic figures attended the ceremony, reinforcing the community's commitment to youth development.

The day also included a guided tour of the facility, conducted by young adults who introduced the guests to the venue's well-planned features. These amenities include dormitories for leaders and youth, meeting rooms, an auditorium, a pavilion, an amphitheater, and a small Church History Museum that tells stories of faith and resilience.

The program commenced with an inspiring opening message delivered by Area Seventy, Elder Tomas Merdegia Jr. He highlighted the importance of the FSY Facility when he said, "This is a testament to the dedication, love and support of our leaders to our youth as they develop spiritually, socially, intellectually and physically.  As our youth deepen in their conversion, they become more prepared to enter the temple worthily and make covenants. It readies them for missionary work and grooms them to embrace their future roles as responsible spouses, caring parents, and upstanding citizens of the nation."

Adding to this sentiment, Hon. Rafael "Lito" Tanjuatco, the Municipal Mayor of Tanay, emphasized, "In a world where we strive for physical and mental health, it's equally critical, if not more so, to fortify our spiritual well-being," he expressed. "The need for spiritual resilience is all the more crucial in our youth, and this facility aims to cultivate just that."

The symbolic ribbon-cutting was performed by a distinguished assembly of leaders. Among those present were members of the Philippines Area Presidency and their spouses who were joined by the Mayor of Tanay, Hon. Rafael Tanjuatco; Rev. Fr. Carlos Reyes, Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila; and Brother Edgar Fernando, Director of Temporal Affairs for the Philippines Area.

During the dedication, Elder Carlos G. Revillo articulated the vision behind the initiative. "We want them to be here so that they can be together and experience joy and a true sense of belonging and unity," he heartedly expressed.

The event also provided an opportunity for participants of past FSY sessions to share their experiences. Bro Lehi Jimenez from Antipolo Stake, having served as a counselor at an FSY Session, expressed the profound impact of the program. "The FSY program is designed to prepare the youth to enter and make covenants in the temple and prepares them to become leaders in the Church and in their communities," he asserted.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Barbie Orowa, a young woman from Antipolo Stake with two FSY Sessions to her credit, found a deeper connection through the program. "Through FSY, I found a sense of belonging. It served as a poignant reminder that I am a beloved daughter of Heavenly Parents who love us, and we love them," she shared.

Further reinforcing the value of the FSY program, Bishop Francis Reyes of Antipolo Stake, who served alongside his wife Sister Jane Reyes at the Antipolo-Siniloan FSY Session, testified to the program's divine inspiration. "The FSY Program is an inspired initiative of the church. It acts as a beacon, helping the youth connect to their purpose, and that purpose fuels their goals. It aids them in deepening their conversion and trust in the Lord, allowing them to live by acting in faith as a testament of that trust. It ignites in them a desire to spread their joys to those around them," he stated.

Elder Yoon Hwan Choi, First Counselor of the Area Presidency, emphasized the pivotal role that participating in the FSY program could play in the process of identity formation for the youth. He asserted, "Once these young individuals step into this journey, they start to recognize who they are, what kind of men and women they can evolve into. In essence, it's about recognizing and harnessing their potential for the future."

Building on this perspective, Elder Steven R. Bangerter, the Philippines Area President, shared an exciting announcement. He unveiled the Church's plan to create more FSY Facilities.  He proclaimed, "Our vision extends beyond this inaugural facility. Though it is the first in Asia, it certainly won't be the last. As we stand here today, our eyes are already set on the horizon, scouting locations for our next facilities in Mindanao, Cebu, and Northern Luzon. We aim to continue this mission to nurture, develop, and enrich the lives of thousands more, including both members and non-members of the Church." His uplifting speech was followed by the heartfelt dedicatory prayer for the FSY Facility.

FSY Conferences are large-scale youth activities that are held under the direction of the Area Presidency. It is for youth ages 14-18 and for 13-year-olds who will be turning 14 in the year the FSY conference will be held. In an FSY Conference, youth participate in up to five days of devotionals, classes and activities, and engage in inspired learning opportunities and wholesome social experiences. These activities will help the youth strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and feel joy and belonging as they live the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The program provides a balance of spiritual, social, physical and intellectual aspects in the lives of youth. This is accomplished by affording them various opportunities in gospel learning, service, and personal development. FSY Conferences focus on the youth theme for the year and are facilitated by worthy, spiritually mature young single adult leaders. The FSY facility stands as a beacon of hope, symbolizing unity, personal growth, and the resilient spirit of the youth, lighting the way to a brighter and more empowered future.

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