MANILA, Sept. 18, 2011—The National Youth Cross that has been in pilgrimage across the country has left a mark in the lives of the young people who have been in contact with it.
Fr. Ricky Belino, diocesan youth director of Baguio diocese said that the young people from their diocese and region had experienced a unique encounter with the youth cross as can be attested by their personal testimonies.
He said the initial excitement they felt while waiting for the arrival of the cross in the diocese was instantly supplanted by the desire to touch the cross upon seeing it.
Belino also said that the youth realized many things in their life during the pilgrim’s cross visit.
“The coming of the national youth cross has brought to them a lot of realizations.
During the overnight vigil with the cross, our confession extended until 2:00 o’clock in the morning. For the youth to realize that there is a God who loves them in spite and despite of who they are is already a big miracle,” Belino said.
He also added that some youth participants shared that they now realized their responsibilities as part of the church.
Sem. James Agustin Castillo said that the visit of the cross has taught him many lessons.
He admitted that he and some fellow seminarians from the seminary didn’t really believe about the power of the pilgrim cross. But when it arrived in the diocese, the doubtful seminarians felt in their hearts that Jesus Christ was truly alive.
Castillo is a pre-college seminarian from St. Francis Xavier Seminary of the diocese of Baguio.
On the other hand, Ekengwu Dominic Emeka, a Nigerian student of Psychology attested that there is something very unique about the cross.
“During the visit of the cross, I can see that the youth have been empowered more to love the Cross and cherished it as the symbol of salvation. The youth has been after Christ, they are after the Cross, that they wanted to be part of it and in their daily living,” said Emeka.
When asked about his personal experience with the cross, Emeka felt the wonder of the cross when he had the sacrament of reconciliation.
“It seems that Christ was speaking to me. When I had the confession, I was almost crying,” Emeka said.
Jetrix Tenebro, regional youth coordinator who accompanied the pilgrim cross in its journey throughout the regions shared some testimonies of manifestation.
“When the team was having its meeting in Laoag, the members in charge of documentation seldom attended the meeting, but when the youth cross arrived, they suddenly appeared and said they will document. What was unique about it was they were all takers of nursing board exams. It was during the last night of the vigil in the diocese when the board exam results were released, and they found out that they all passed the board. For them, it is a great gift that they received through the cross, and they were so grateful,” Tenebro shared.
He added that there was also another manifestation in Tuguegarao archdiocese as he told the story of a youth minister whose bedridden mother was able to get up.
“For me this is a miracle,” he said. “This youth minister’s mother was bedridden because of cancer. He promised to be with the cross in its journey throughout the region and other dioceses. What happened was after the pilgrimage, the mother was able to get up. This is just one of those instances that you will not expect to happen but happened,” he added.
Tenebro said the visit of pilgrim youth cross has brought energy and renewed life to the young people in their region.
The pilgrimage of the National Youth Cross (NYC) in North Luzon Region started on August 2. It has been in the region for 43 days until Sept. 13.
The youth cross is currently on a journey to different NCR dioceses after a stay of one week at the Military Ordinariate. (Jandel Posion)