MANILA, July 11, 2013—Just barely a week left for the World Youth Day celebration in Brazil, Filipino youth delegates are in the thick of preparations—spiritual and otherwise—for a meaningful experience of the worldwide encounter.
Emerlita Kasilag, a youth minister from the Archdiocesan Commission on Youth (ACY) of Lipa said she is preparing herself for the world event by frequenting the sacraments, especially the sacrament of confession.
“I want to prepare for my spiritual growth, since this is a spiritual journey for us youth pilgrims. So I have to avail the sacrament of confession this week before the send-off on Sunday,” Kasilag said.
Dani Villanueva from Antipolo diocese, meanwhile, is excited to be part of the event and voiced out his expectations.
“My expectation is to be able to encounter Christ in my fellow pilgrims, not only from the ECY delegation but from all pilgrims around the world. I want to see Christ in them and to be able to experience Him in all activities prepared by the WYD organizers,” Villanueva, the youth coordinator of Antipolo said.
Aside from encountering Christ in his fellow pilgrims, Villanueva also said that he would like to meet the Pope not just as a person of authority in the Catholic Church but also as the representative of Christ in the world.
“And most especially, the grace that I will receive during the event which I will bring back here in the country to be shared to my fellow young people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Msgr. Jerome Narvasa, a member of the clergy accompanying the delegates from the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines’ Commission on Youth (MOPCY) said he is 100% spiritually and physically prepared for the event.
Narvasa added that this event will be a big help for him in his ministry to the young.
Delegates under ECY-Philippines, the official country delegation to WYD will depart from Manila to Rio starting July 13 until July 16 in order to join the missionary week, a week of experiencing local culture in assigned Churches within Brazil.
Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth said there is no way to come up with a definite number of pilgrims from the country since there may be schools, parishes, communities, congregations and organization that chose to send delegates on their own.
But as far as the ECY-Philippines is concerned, Garganta confirmed there are 176 pilgrims who will attend the international gathering representing around 26 origins nationwide. (Jandel Posion)