Alice Macasaet

The author’s mother, Mrs. Alice Macasaet (rightmost), together with Mrs. Dely Logronio (leftmost), once represented the Philippines in the World Congress of Salesian Cooperators in Rome. Here they are with some postulants of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart at the entrance of their convent in Italy (date unknown).

Don’t forget! Right before Election Day is Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8). I’d like to pay a special tribute in memory of my late mom, Alice. I am not hesitant at all to share something personal, something about her here — simply because she too was a youth minister.

This coming June 28 will be her 16th death anniversary. I still recall very well, during the funeral wake in the chapel in St. John Bosco Parish, Makati, how a fine group of boys from nearby Don Bosco Technical Institute dropped by and offered their condolences. Yes, I knew that as an active Salesian Cooperator, she was pitching in and helping out as a catechist in the Youth Center of the school at that time. But I never knew the details of her apostolate, even as a Salesian priest myself. It turned out that she taught those boys. They stayed to pray the Rosary for her eternal repose.

Ever since then, I saw a new particular aspect in my mother. Yes, at one point she was even the Coordinator for the Salesian Cooperators in the Philippines, but quite plainly and simply she was also a youth minister. Little did I know that someone else in my family preceded me in the job.

Each and every parent is actually a youth minister, come to think of it. I would always say that in my classes: parents (mothers, especially!) are truly the first youth ministers of their own sons and daughters. And with the closer links now (finally!) between youth ministry and family ministry (aren’t they one and the same, anyway?), we would do well to put our own parents in the spotlight, occasionally at least, up there on the stage of youth ministry.

MartYM or Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB, SThD is a professor of Youth Ministry. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.

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