MANILA, May 15, 2013–EVEN as the hoopla around the midterm elections dies down, the CBCP – Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) forges on towards 2016 with its commitment to continue election catechism and voters’ education through its Kabataang Bayani program.
At a press conference last May 12, ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta stressed the importance of continuing formation of young people about electoral duties and how it should not stop with the May 13 polls.
The Episcopal Commission on Youth marked a respite in its Kabataang Bayani runs with A Candle for HOPE (Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections), a prayer on the eve of the elections, last May 12 at Our Lady of the Abandoned parish in Marikina City.
During his homily at A Candle for HOPE Eucharistic celebration, CBCP Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III lauded Kabataang Bayani as a program that “minumulat ang isipan ng mga bata sa isang napakaimportanteng misyon – ang pag-Christianize ng politics (opens the eyes of the youth to a most important mission – the Christianizing of politics).”
“As Christians, nakikialam [tayo], hindi lamang sa sarili kung hindi sa buong sambayanan,” Msgr. Quitorio added, explaining why good Catholics necessarily have to be involved citizens.
This is precisely one of the objectives of Kabataang Bayani, which aims to “provide a venue for Filipino youth to become more aware of the country’s socio-political scene and make them realize their vital role in transforming the situation.”
Designed a few elections before, the program is the Youth Commission’s “concrete response to the need to form our young people in social awareness and involvement, and as a particular tool to aid the youth ministries in this important component,” as described in one of its modules.
Kabataang Bayani: Youth for HOPE has had runs for the Department of Social Welfare and Development – NCR, the Archdiocese of Jaro in Ilo-ilo, which was attended by 100 youth; another one in the Diocese of Bangued, which had 70 participants.
The most recent ones were held for the Diocese of Malolos and the Don Bosco Youth Center in Tondo, Manila. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]