100 professionals, young students ‘choose to be brave’, and growing

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Commission on Youth Coordinator Marie Joy C. Lumbad finds time for an interview after her office to share about the challenge to "Choose to be Brave". She works for a pharmaceutical company. At 12 years of age, she started her service for San Antonio de Padua, Diocese of Paranaque. She is now 24. (Oliver Samson)

PARAÑAQUE City, Feb. 19, 2014—About a hundred young professionals, college students, and school kids ages 10 and up will intersect in the monthly catechism called ‘Jesus Got Mail’ under the diocese’s challenge for the young to “Choose to Be Brave” in faith at San Antonio de Padua Parish Church on February 22 from 6:00 pm onwards, Commission on Youth Coordinator Marie Joy C. Lumbad on Tuesday, said.

“You will get a mail from Jesus in our activities,” she said in vernacular. “‘Jesus Got Mail’ is composed of Bible study, fellowship, and worship as core activities of the monthly gathering. The topics mainly touch on the challenge to the young people to “Choose to Be Brave,” in contemporary time.

The participants are asked of thought-provoking questions like ‘Are you brave enough for your faith’ and ‘Have you already found your true love, who is Christ,’ Lumbad said.

Choose to Be Brave because “love knows no fear,” she said. Young professionals, college students, as well as children can become missionaries of Christ in their own simple ways, Lumbad said. One can be a good Christian without taking the course to martyrdom, the way taken by saints, who were beheaded and burnt at the stake for faith.

“By simply becoming a good employee, a good student, a good child, a good neighbor – a good person in general, one is brave enough in his faith,” she said. “One can be a good Christian without being persecuted to death, the way saints died. As simple as that, we can be good Christians.”

To communicate in the tongue of the young people of today, the group takes on the usage of creative semantics to capture attention and elicit response, Lumbad said. One example, since February is the month of love, the group calls it the month of “Peg-Ibig.”

Lumbad wishes to share with young women that “masarap magmahal” [to love is wonderful] if one is brave enough. Brave enough because one will come to it after graduation from college, a time when her parents will likely approve.

“Hindi naman masama magmahal, pero dapat ang tama,” Lumbad said. [Nothing is wrong in having a boyfriend as long as it comes with propriety.] This is one of the lessons participants to ‘Jesus Got Mail’ will learn.

‘Jesus Got Mail’ also binds together members of Youth for Christ (YFC), sacristans, usherettes, alms collectors, members of the church’s theater performers, and other young people seeking more of God, she said.

‘Jesus Got Mail’ catechism starts at 6:00 pm every fourth Saturday of the month, Lumbad said. Time aptly chosen, and dubbing it “Sabado Night with the Lord,” the young warriors of faith join the gathering after work and school.

“We do this to encourage the youth to get closer to God,” she said. “At the same time, they can share with others their experience of God. And wherever we go, we shall share the love and experience of God with others. This is to evangelize the youth.”

Rev. Fr. John Francis Frederick K. Manlapig, San Antonio de Padua parish priest, is the oversight of the group, who is also in charge of the youth in the diocese. (Oliver Samson)

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