CACERES CITY, Spain, August 15, 2011—The Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has expressed gratitude to the diocese of Coria Caceres for hosting Filipino World Youth Day (WYD) delegates and making them feel at home at its parishes for the past week.
ECY chairman and Legazpi, Bishop Joel Baylon thanked the diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Fernando Cerro, for welcoming the 427 Filipino pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines delegation. Filipinos spent the last five days in the different parishes of Coria-Caceres together with pilgrims from 15 other countries.
“Thank you to all the families, the parishes and the individuals of the diocese of Coria Caceres because we felt like they have made us really feel at home and provided everything for us, especially to those who have lost their baggage during their flight,” Baylon said in an interview during last night’s concert for the delegates sponsored by the diocese of Coria-Caceres.
All WYD delegates hosted by the diocese of Coria-Caceres have already left their host parishes yesterday and have assembled at the Rodeo Park in this city in preparation for their departure for Madrid later today.
“The diocese of Coria Caceres has really gone out of its way just to make us feel at home and they exerted effort to make our days in the diocese really memorable even before we have reached Madrid,” Baylon added.
The prelate also dispelled the notion that the language barrier between Filipinos and their host had lessen the success of the days in the diocese (DID) activities.
“The language barrier was not a problem at all and wasn’t a source of difficulty. Of course, it was difficult to understand and be understood. But it hasn’t been a barrier at all,” he said.
Baylon urged the Filipinos to not only remember the generosity and hospitality of their Spanish host, but to also appreciate how the Catholic Church in Spain witnesses to its faith.
“The DID is a very significant part of the WYD. This is where we want the youth to see the culture and church of the diocese outside Madrid. Here in Coria-Caceres, churches are not always filled with lay people during Mass, unlike in our country, but they showed us how strong and vibrant their faith is. It is important for us to recognize and remember how they struggle to be a witness of their faith,” he added.
Baylon, together with the ECY-delegation Secretariat, will head to Madrid later this afternoon after the send-off Mass that Bishop Cerro will celebrate by noon. The accommodation of the ECY-Philippines delegates in Madrid is yet to be announced. (YouthPinoy)