MAKATI City, Nov. 15, 2011?At least 3,300 youth delegates from across the country gathered at the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati on November 14 during the opening celebration of National Youth Day (NYD) 2011.
Hosted by the Federation of National Youth Organization (FNYO), the National Youth Day is one of the highlights of this year’s celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth.
Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Youth and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, during his homily told young people to seek truth and happiness only in God amid hedonistic lifestyles that characterize today’s society.
Talking about the blind man in the gospel, he challenged the youth not to be blinded or get preoccupied by things that do not matter.
The bishop said that “the world offers us pleasures and happiness, but the real one who can give us true happiness is God through Jesus Christ. The only problem is, we do not see God.”
Baylon added that all the time, Jesus uses people to bring others back to Him. He uses human instruments so that He will always be encountered by other people in this world.
And that means to say, we, the youth can also be instruments of Jesus, the bishop said.
Baylon also emphasized the question that was asked by Jesus to the blind man, “what you want me to do for you?”
This is the question that I will leave to you, young people of God. That during these days, Jesus is asking us this question, “What do you want me to do for you?” the bishop said.
The National Youth Day celebration is being held in six festival sites all over the metropolis namely: Mary Help of Christians in Parañaque, Miraculous Medal Shrine in Sucat, Don Bosco in Tondo and Mandaluyong, Claret School in Quezon City and St. Joseph Parish in Las Piñas.
The talks take place simultaneously in six festival sites, aimed at highlighting the important role of the youth in addressing the country’s social ills.
ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said that during the six-day festivities, organizers would stress on the potential of the youth, particularly on how they can help resolve the social problems in the Church and society.
Other concerns that will also be given due attention are the problems that young Filipinos face today such as drug addition, out of school youth and gender issues as well as the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
Although local dioceses have issued their own statements on the RH bill, the NYD delegates are expected to draw up a unity statement that would support the church’s stand on the issue.
The Catholic Church has been strongly opposing the passage of the measure.
The NYD has three-day catechesis from November 15-17 that would include workshops and sharing with respective host families.
Garganta explained that the sharing is part of the program as it is structured. He said the whole-day catechesis will end at 6:30 p.m. to give time for family sharing.
The culminating highlight of the NYD event will be the awarding on November 18 of youth ministry award or John Paul II award to outstanding youth ministers and youth organizations across the country. (Jandel Posion)