CEBU City, Nov. 25, 2011?A solemn blessing and inauguration was held last Nov. 12 for the Archdiocesan Youth Center for Spirituality and Skills Development in the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The celebration was led by His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu and His Excellency Auxiliary Bishop Julito Cortes, who represented Archbishop Jose Palma, who was in Rome during the inauguration.
More than a hundred invited guests, benefactors and friends were in attendance during the event.
Cardinal Vidal narrated that a little more than a year ago, Msgr. Arthur Navales, the Archdiocesan Youth Director, showed to him and to the young people in the archdiocese an artist’s perspective, still a drawing on a paper that has now become a reality.
“I, an old man, am still able to dream dreams. Their vision allowed me to see possibilities which were far-fetched before, but the reality you see today is more than enough proof of their uncanny ability to realize their vision,” Vidal said.
Vidal also thanked Msgr. Navales and the youth along with the youth ministers of the youth commission for their vision.
“Now this building was the fruit of pure hard work,” Vidal said. “Young people had to beg, literally, with their empty water bottles and cans, from house to house, from parish to parish.”
He added, “I know that one time, one of our youth coordinators was crossing Escario Street while carrying a bottle heavy with coins, until weight was too much and the bottle, along with its contents, spilled onto the busy street. No one helped our youth volunteer. The onlookers merely looked, while a few pocketed the bills that flew in their directions.”
The cardinal thanked the benefactors for believing to the young people of the archdiocese.
“This building was built with the tears and sweat of young people. But it would not have been possible without the support of those among you who believed in our young people,” he said.
“Even as my sight maybe a bit dimmer now, I can still see a bright future for our young people. May this youth center be the vanguard of that future, the citadel where young sentinels will announce new dawn for our Church,” he added.
According to its website, www.coycebu.org, the Youth Center will serve as a study hub for the youth, a school for the out-of school and a sanctuary for young people to encounter God through spiritual activities.
The Youth Center is located along P. Gomez Street beside the Cebu Cathedral. (Jandel Posion)