ILOILO City, Dec. 1, 2014 — In support of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) call for spiritual preparation before the pope’s apostolic visit to the Philippines, the youth of the Archdiocese of Jaro is organizing a free recollection in the form of a prayer-concert on Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m. at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral.
Inspired by a pastoral letter issued by CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the Vicariate of St. Peter Youth Ministries, in collaboration with the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles Parish, organized the musical concert, entitled “Mercy.”
“We have discerned and planned to make ‘Mercy’ as an overarching theme of the concert. As the pastoral letter says, ‘Let us make mercy and compassion our national identity. Trust in God’s mercy is part and parcel of our traditional Filipino Christian culture. Let us make the practice of mercy our gift to the Pope when he comes to visit us,’” said Russel Louie Palmares, Youth Shepherd of the Vicariate of St. Peter.
According to the youth leader, the event will be “preparative, catechetical and unifying.”
“First of all, it is preparative. It is meant to be a prayer-led and meditative concert to deepen [in] the hearts of the faithful the love and reverence to the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, in consonance to his upcoming apostolic visit to the Philippines in January 2015,” Palmares explained.
He said the second objective of the program is to be catechetical, which means it aims to inspire “mercy and compassion”, to help people be more generous to those in need.
Palmares said concrete ways to do this is for people to carry out the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy, especially with the CBCP’s declaration of the Year of the Poor.
“Third, it is unifying. It is meant to gather, celebrate and affirm as one Vicariate through a musical ensemble in this National Youth Awareness Week (Dec 8-16, 2014, Ka-Lakbay) with Mary, the Star of Evangelization, as Model and Icon,” he added.
The youth organizers, with the encouragement and approval of Fr. Nathaniel Gentizon, vicariate youth director, and Msgr. Excel Jaen, vicar forane, are inviting the clergy, the religious and the rest of the faithful in the archdiocese to attend the said event.
“With Mary as our model of mercy, we hope that the concert will not just be entertaining but essentially catechetical and evangelical. We encourage especially the students and other young people to take part in this activity,” Palmares said.
“Just as in all events with Pope Francis when he comes to the Philippines, the admission to the prayer-concert is free to encourage everyone to come,” the youth organizer added
For inquiries and sponsorship details, interested parties may contact St. Peter Vicariate Youth Shepherd
Russell Louie Palmares at 09997006641. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)