KRAKOW, Poland, August 5, 2016– For 31 years now the World Youth Day (WYD) has proven to be one of the most important occasions for fostering vocations in the Catholic Church.
A testimony of a Filipino couple that brought the whole family to Krakow for the 31st WYD shows that the biggest gathering of the Catholic Church is, in recent years, one of the primary motivations for vocations not only the to the religious life but to the married life as well.
Young couple Ronaldo and Cherubin Farrales who have been working in Warsaw, Poland, for the past 13 years, brought with them their five children to Krakow to participate in the World Youth Day.
“We would like our children, especially the older ones, to experience World Youth Day, because we ourselves are products of the WYD,” the Farrales couple said in an interview with CBCP News.
Active in the youth ministry
“When we were younger we were parishioners of Immaculate Conception Parish in Cubao, Quezon City.
“On my part, I participated in the activities of the parish youth ministry,” recalled Ronaldo.
On the other hand, the wife, Cherubin, admitted that she was not actively participating in Church activities, in spite of the fact that she was a student of the Immaculate Conception Parochial School–as it was called at the time before it became a Cathedral School when the district of Cubao was erected as a diocese.
From wanderer to pilgrim
“At the time you could call me a ‘typical teen-ager’ with many interests in life but without much focus. Besides, I needed to think a lot before committing myself to a certain activity.
“It was my friend, my future husband, who introduced me to the youth minsitry,” she admitted.
“It was through the parish youth ministry that led us to participate in the 15th World Youth Day held in Rome in the year 2000,” the couple said.
WYD brought us together
Recalling their WYD experience, the couple remembered that they were grouped together with members of the youth ministry of other parishes from the Philippines.
“We were all together journeying towards the WYD in Rome. For a month we were as one in experiencing all the joys and also the hardships of the pilgrimage.
“It was in that WYD pilgrimage that we started to discern whether we are meant for each other.
“So, in the end, we concluded that if we could stand each other for a month of pilgrimage, then we can be with each other forever,” recalled the husband and wife.
Upon their return from the WYD pilgrimage in Rome the couple became active with the Singles for Christ.
They were later married in the same parish church where they both grew up with the blessing of a young, newly-ordained bishop, the Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, at the time Auxiliary Bishop of Manila.
“Many of us who went to the 15th WYD were moved to be more commited in serving the Lord. One member of our group decided to be a seminarian after WYD. He is now a priest serving in the seminary,” the couple added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)