PALO, Leyte, Feb. 11, 2016 – The youth of Leyte will take on the challenge left by the 51st International Eucharistic Congress by echoing the event’s richness and learnings through the Archdiocesan Echo of IEC Youth Day on Feb. 24 to 25.
Hosted by the Vicariate of Tacloban, the event will coincide with the 4th Archdiocesan Youth Day and will be in keeping with Papal Legate Bishop Charles Maung Cardinal Bo’s call to young people.
At the closing of the 51st IEC in Cebu City he said: “Instead of expecting the youth to return to the church, the church must return to the youth.”
Easy to understand
Gerard San Gabriel, a 2nd year Theology student at the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) here, found the IEC experience “very memorable and significant [experience] for me simply because the talks of great speakers were brilliant and unexpectedly easy to understand.”
For him, “The most effective talks during the congress were the testimonials that were given by our brothers and sisters who lived their talk, who lived out their faith as concretely as possible in their daily lives”
He believes though that “it would be more effective for other people to learn what I have learned from the IEC if they observe and see in my life that I have lived what I have learned from the congress.”
Re-echoing by witnessing
San Gabriel added: “Witnessing will be the most effective way of re-echoing the knowledge that I have assimilated from the IEC.”
San Joaquin (Palo) Parish accountant and commission on youth chairman Melvin Maraya who was among the archdiocesan youth who attended the IEC Youth Day on Jan. 29, shares San Gabriel’s view.
“The only thing I can share to the youth is always live the Eucharist in our life, hearts and soul,” he said.
Expounding on this, Maraya added, “In order to live the Eucharist we need to become holy or saintly.”
Christ at the center of life
“To achieve this, we need to know the center of our life which is Jesus Christ, to know that we are great sinners and to realize that it is not always about ourselves but of others,” Maraya discussed.
He urged his fellow youth to continue to pray for those who cannot witness to the Body and Blood of Christ.
“Let us persevere on all our undertakings and be missionaries of the Holy Church,” he suggested.
Fr. Gwen Lovelino Padagdag, priest-in-charge of the Sto. Niño Parish youth ministry, stressed in his homily that each time a Catholic receives the Holy Host he takes on the duty of being a missionary for Christ.
“The Eucharist reminds us of our mission as baptized Catholics, that is to spread the Good News of Salvation and to be witness of Christ’s love,” he said.
Early on Fr. Ivo Acebedo Velasquez, a formator at SJEST, urged the faithful to pray not just for the success of the IEC but for the IEC message itself to bear fruit among those who hear them. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)