MANILA, Sept. 6, 2012—An executive of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) has called on parishes to launch fund-raising efforts to help send at least one delegate per parish to attend next year’s World Youth Day (WYD) in Brazil.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said parish-driven fund-raising activities would greatly help parish-based youth to meet the steep financial requirement of participating in the WYD.
“I personally appeal to parishes to be strong in doing something for this cause. If a parish is capable of sending at least one young person to attend the WYD, the better,” Garganta said.
In a WYD 2013 primer it has released earlier, the ECY estimates that a Filipino delegate travelling from Manila to Rio de Janeiro would spend $2,300 to $2,500 for airfare. This excludes the participation cost ranging from $365, for those attending only the WYD week in Rio de Janeiro from July 23 to 28, to $465 for those also attending the Missionary Week in dioceses outside Rio de Janeiro from July 17 to 20.
Last year, the ECY-Philippines delegation to the WYD in Spain has more than 400 members, each of whom spent more or less $2,000 for their airfare and registration costs.
This number excludes some 1,500 others who went to Madrid under different delegation or groups.
Given the distance (from Manila to Rio de Janeiro) and length of (overseas) stay, the pilgrimage to the WYD will entail a considerable cost, which is expected to discourage young Filipinos to participate in the event.
But Garganta urged parish and diocesan priests to be active promoters of the WYD in the grassroots.
“Since the difficulty of the young lies mainly on the financial aspect, it is upon the adults to help in raising funds for them. Be the promoters of WYD among the youth and translate the desire to send delegates by helping raise funds,” he added.
Car wash, tiangge, fun run
Parish-driven fund-raising activities conducted in the past to raise WYD funds include car wash for a cause, tiangge, food and beverage merchandising within parish grounds, and fun runs.
Garganta said parish-based fund-raising for WYD delegates will also encourage community effort in supporting their young members to lead missionary lives.
“The WYD comes at the critical period in the life of a young person. Joining the WYD is helping that young person make a firm choice decision in whatever direction or vocation in life that he is considering. The experience WYD generates will help that young person to discern what God wants life for him to be,” he said.
Once the WYD is over and the parish delegate returns home, he can reecho the experiences and learning he had from WYD and share them with those who were not able to attend.
But Garganta advised parishes to scrutinize its delegates and prioritize sending “those that are really open to knowing what God wants them to do for the faith.”
Earlier, Garganta invited interested individuals and groups from dioceses, parishes, schools and national youth movements to be part of the ECY-Philippines delegation to the WYD 2013. (YouthPinoy)