MANILA, March 13, 2015—With the graduation season just a few weeks ahead, a Catholic priest has called on the country’s future “movers and shakers” to thankfully give back to God all the blessings He has given them as they prepare to march their way into a new phase of their lives.
“They should never forget to express their gratitude to the Lord for the gifts of mind and strength,” Fr. Conegundo B. Garganta, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), shared in a recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
The priest went on to remind students of “Class 2015” to thank their parents, guardians, and other benefactors, who had gone out of their way, moving heaven and earth, just to fulfill the duties God had entrusted them, and to see their children and wards bring home their hard-earned diplomas, hoping these will be their tickets to a bright future.
Lest they be forgotten, Garganta also stressed the need to recognize the indispensable role teachers play in the formation of today’s Filipino youth, particularly those in elementary and high schools, who, as second parents, help form the kind of people who will one day inherit and lead the nation.
Moreover, the CBCP-ECY official exhorted future members of the workforce to be proactive once they start scouting around for their first jobs.
He also urged them to allot a portion of their time to serving their communities.
Based on data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), there were as many as 553,000 students who graduated in 2014, excluding those who finished primary and secondary levels.
Think, feel, do well
Meanwhile, in his Encounter with the Youth held at the University of Santo Tomás (UST) in Jan. 18, Pope Francis invited the “selfie generation” to learn “to think, to feel, and to do … and all that, harmoniously”.
The Holy Father further noted how learning to love is the “most important lesson in life”.
While the Argentine pontiff, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century saint famous for his evangelical poverty, admitted there is a “challenge of integrity, of concern for the environment,” he pointed out the biggest challenge facing the faithful is to “love the poor.”
Pope Francis also warned the youth delegates against the potential risks modern technology poses, especially when the faithful do not know how to process the flood of information they pick up.
“Today, with so many means of communication, we are overloaded with information. Is that bad?
No. It is good and can help. But there is a real danger of living in a way that we accumulate information,” he said.
“We have so much information but maybe we don’t know what to do with that information,” he added.
The Holy Father explained such danger, if unchecked, could result in the creation of “young museums,” of people who have everything in their hands, but do not know what to do with them.
“We don’t need young museums. [What we need are] holy young people,” he declared. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)