MANILA, Jan. 30, 2013—More than 2,000 young people from different public high schools, and member-schools of the Catechetical Foundation of the Archdiocese of Manila (CFAM), Manila Archdiocesan and Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA) and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) gathered for the CFAM-MAPSA-CEAP Youth Assembly.
Themed “Live the Faith, Share the Faith”, the gathering focused on celebrating the Year of Faith, establishing and strengthening the youth’s relationship with Christ, providing opportunities for personal growth, encouraging community involvement and inspiring and empowering them to become citizen imbued with the Gospel values for the service of the society and the local Church.
In his homily, MAPSA president Msgr. Gerry Santos explained the meaning of faith as a deeper relationship with God.
“Faith can be summarized as friendly relationship with God. Appreciate your being Catholic. Live the faith, profess it, share it, guard it and proclaim the faith to others; the role of Jesus Christ and the Church in your life and holiness. This is the real meaning of faith and we must remember it in our daily life,” Santos said.
Topics on how to live the faith, sharing the faith and engaging citizens in the upcoming 2013 elections were also discussed in a series of talks during the whole-day event.
Alvin Barcelona of Kerygma talked about deepening and living one’s faith while Fr. Bong Gino, the assistant minister of CFAM talked about sharing the faith to others.
Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Chair Henrietta de Villa discussed the topic of citizens’ engagement in the upcoming mid-year elections.
De Villa stressed three things that should concern young people and impel their engagement in the coming elections.
“These three are concern for God; [as there seems to be] a deliberate forgetfulness of God. We must not forget Him because He is the center of everything. Next is the concern for others, especially the poor. And third is the concern for the environment,” de Villa said.
She said the concerns she mentioned may seem simple but important, and “these are the concerns we can engage [in] during election time.”
Held on January 26 at the De La Salle University in Manila, the gathering was the 1st event for this year of Faith.
The youth assembly is slated to be held quarterly in an effort to have high school students from both public and private schools get to know each other. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)