BACOLOD City, April 7, 2015 — It’s all “green and go” in Bacolod as the city opens her arms to welcome Regional Youth Day 2015 “9th RYD goes 4G: GO GIVE GOD with GLADNESS” delegates from April 13 to 15.
More than 2,000 young people from the dioceses of Romblon, Kalibo, San Jose de Antique, San Carlos, Kabankalan, Bacolod and the archdioceses of Jaro and Capiz are expected to congregate in Bacolod City for the event.
According to Eunice Arnaiz, Secretary of Bacolod’s Diocesan Commission on Youth, the theme of this year’s RYD was inspired by the CBCP’s Year of the Poor.
Richness of God’s love
The year 2015 is the “Year of the Poor” in the CBCP’s 9-year spiritual journey towards the 500th anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines.
According to Arnaiz, the event’s objectives are to:
to help the youth participants to be aware of what poverty is all about to make the young people celebrate the richness and lavishness of God’s love
to inspire them to opt for and to be in solidarity with the poor
“Youth delegates of the RYD will not only talk about poverty but will have opportunities to be immersed with the poor through the encounters with representatives of the “sakada” (seasonal laborers), fisher-folk, urban poor, street children and the unemployed,” Arnaiz said.
She also considers it “very providential” that the RYD in the Year of the Poor was preceded by the visit of Pope Francis.
“The papal visit in January has made the holding of the 9th RYD more meaningful,” the youth leader said.
Arnaiz admitted that the layout plan of the RYD was also inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis.
Arnaiz remembered the Holy Father saying that “we should not make museums out of young people” and for families “to go beyond their homes and to care for our brothers and sisters who are most in need”.
Training for youth ministry
The RYD program will center on the Gospel passage of the “Rich young man”. From here, four questions and challenges will be presented, corresponding to one day of the youth gathering: “What must I do?” “What is still lacking?”, “Go. Sell your possessions.” and “Come. Follow me.”
“Accommodations for the participants will be very simple. Delegates from other towns or dioceses outside Bacolod will be hosted by foster families,” she added.
Young people who come from the dioceses in Western Visayas and Romblon, and who are between 13-39 years old, are invited to be part of RYD 2015. This event also welcomes young people from other settings or movements within the region, especially those coming from the grassroots.
The RYD is a venue for the formation of young people to prepare them to be youth ministers. It also fosters linkages and fellowship among the youth and the youth ministries in the region. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)