ECY-Philippines Group Orientation

ECY-Philippines wyd

“ECY-Philippines”, the official delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) to the World Youth Day (WYD) 2016, formally met in the persons of its Delegation Secretariat and its Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders through a Group Orientation last 2015 August 15 in the Santa Isabel College along Taft Avenue, Manila.  The orientation was led by the Delegation Head, Rev. Fr. Conegundo B. Garganta, who is also the Executive Secretary of the ECY.
There were twenty-nine groups present in the orientation, namely:

From particular churches and their diocesan youth ministries:
Archdiocese of Caceres
Archdiocese of Davao
Archdiocese of Lipa
Archdiocese of Palo
Diocese of Antipolo
Diocese of Bangued
Diocese of Butuan
Diocese of Cabanatuan
Diocese of Dumaguete
Diocese of Kalibo
Diocese of Maasin
Diocese of Malolos
Diocese of San Jose (Antique)
Military Ordinariate of the Philippines

From member organizations of the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO)
Chiro Youth Movement
CFC-Singles for Christ
CFC-Singles for Family and Life
CFC-Youth for Christ
CFC-Youth for Family and Life
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul – Youth
Youth for Mary and Christ

From educational institutions
Assumption Antipolo
Assumption College, SLV (San Lorenzo Village)
School of Saint Anthony
St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove

From other communities
Holy Trinity Community
Light of Jesus Family-The Feast Makati
Order of Augustinian Recollects
YouthPinoy

ECY-Philippines wyd

In the orientation, Fr. Garganta, together with other members of the Delegation Secretariat, led the attendees in understanding the application procedure set for the ECY-Philippines, the required preparations after acceptance, and an overview of the pilgrimage from the Philippines to Poland and back.

From this initial encounter, these Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders have been commissioned to start the preparation of their groups in their respective settings, both in the practical and pastoral aspects.

The World Youth Day 2016 and ECY-Philippines

Dear friends in youth ministry,
 
The Lord is risen!  He is risen indeed!
 
It is in the joy of Easter that I present to you the invitation of our ECY Chairman, Most Rev. LEOPOLDO C. JAUCIAN, SVD, DD, Bishop of Bangued, to the World Youth Day 2016 via the delegation of our episcopal conference which we call “ECY-Philippines”.
 
In relation, please find attached the following:
1) Letter of the ECY Chairman
 
We request for careful reading of these, and for the favor of your reply via the reply slip which we hope to receive anytime until May 11.
 
Should you have pertinent inquiries, please feel free to contact us by replying to this email: secretariat@cbcp-ecy.ph or by using any of our contact details below.
 
Thank you for your kind attention!  May we take this occasion to wish you a most blessed Easter season and a joyful Divine Mercy Sunday!
 
 
Yours in the mercy of the Risen Lord,
 
Rev. Fr. CONEGUNDO B. GARGANTA
Executive Secretary
Telephone  +63 2 5279567
Telefax  +63 2 5279566
Mobile  +63 917 8536792 (Please indicate your name and origin)

World Youth Day 2013 E-Magazine

Rome, Italy, 13 Apr 2014 – On the occasion of the 29th World Youth Day (WYD), the Youth Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity has published the “WYD Magazine,” dedicated completely to the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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The 198-page color magazine features a variety of photos and articles, as well as thoughts from selected pilgrims, which allow readers to review the WYD2013: the catechesis sessions, the Way of the Cross, encounters with Pope Francis, the Vigil and Mass at the Copacabana, among others.

Click here to view the E-Magazine: WYD2013 Magazine
Source: www.laici.va

 

You can also download the ECY-Philippines WYD2013 E-Magazine by clicking here.

International Meeting on WYD Rio 2013 – Krakow 2016

Sassone di Ciampino, 10 – 13 April 2014
Press release

Dear Young Friends,

How vividly I recall the remarkable meeting we had in Rio de Janeiro for the Twenty-eighth World Youth Day. It was a great celebration of faith and fellowship! […] The next stop on our intercontinental youth pilgrimage will be in Krakow in 2016. As a way of accompanying our journey together, for the next three years I would like to reflect with you on the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew (5:1-12). This year we will begin by reflecting on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). For 2015 I suggest: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). Then, in 2016, our theme will be: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).

With these words that open the Message for the 29th World Youth Day, Pope Francis summed up the spiritual path being offered to the youth of the world for the years between WYDs in Rio de Janeiro and Krakow. It is a journey that follows the way of the Beatitudes in search of “the courage of happiness”.

Youth ministry leaders from all over the world will be proceeding along this route as they meet in Rome from 10 to 13 April on the invitation of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. This will be the first international meeting concerning the event in Krakow, and it will be an important opportunity for evaluation and reflection on the part of those who work for World Youth Day. Approximately 250 delegates are expected from about 90 countries and 45 communities, associations and movements of young Catholics. The organising committees of both Rio de Janeiro 2013 and Krakow 2016 will be present.

The conference will begin on Thursday 10 April with an introductory greeting by Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The day will be devoted to assessing WYD 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, “a celebration of faith and fellowship”. The speakers will be Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio, and members of the Rio Local Organising Committee (COL). They will review the organisational and pastoral aspects of the event, and its impact on the archdiocese of Rio and on youth ministry in Brazil. An assessment will be made of the pastoral impact of WYD 2013 on the five continents, enriched by the contributions and testimonies of the participants.

On our way to Krakow 2016” is the theme of the sessions on Friday 11 April. Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, will speak about the significance of WYD for the diocese that will host the event from 26 to 31 July 2016. This will be followed by an introduction on the Church in Poland, with particular attention given to youth ministry. The Krakow Local Organising Committee will be introduced. They will give an initial presentation of the organisation of WYD 2016 and will open discussion on the projects, ideas and pastoral dynamics of the event.

Saturday 12 April will be an opportunity to reflect together on the subject of “The integration of WYD in regular youth ministry”. Bishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will speak about the Church’s commitment to the young from John Paul II to Pope Francis. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the expectations of young people. The panel will include Rev. Daniel Ange, founder of the Jeunesse Lumière school of prayer and evangelisation, Chiara Amirante, founder of the Nuovi Orizzonti Community, and Dr. Bernhard Meuser, promoter and co-author of Youcat. Then, with the contributions of the delegates, focus will be placed on how youth ministry responds to the new challenges presented by the pontificate of Pope Francis in different parts of the world.

On Sunday 13 April, the delegates will attend Palm Sunday Mass presided by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square and the Rome diocesan celebration of the 29th World Youth Day. The Meeting will conclude at the San Lorenzo International Youth Centre.

Source: www.laici.va

Message of Pope Francis for the 29th World Youth Day 2014

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3)

 

Dear Young Friends,

How vividly I recall the remarkable meeting we had in Rio de Janeiro for the Twenty-eighth World Youth Day. It was a great celebration of faith and fellowship! The wonderful people of Brazil welcomed us with open arms, like the statue of Christ the Redeemer which looks down from the hill of Corcovado over the magnificent expanse of Copacabana beach. There, on the seashore, Jesus renewed his call to each one of us to become his missionary disciples. May we perceive this call as the most important thing in our lives and share this gift with others, those near and far, even to the distant geographical and existential peripheries of our world.

The next stop on our intercontinental youth pilgrimage will be in Krakow in 2016. As a way of accompanying our journey together, for the next three years I would like to reflect with you on the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew (5:1-12). This year we will begin by reflecting on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). For 2015 I suggest: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). Then, in 2016, our theme will be: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).

1. The revolutionary power of the Beatitudes

It is always a joyful experience for us to read and reflect on the Beatitudes! Jesus proclaimed them in his first great sermon, preached on the shore of the sea of Galilee. There was a very large crowd, so Jesus went up on the mountain to teach his disciples. That is why it is known as “the Sermon on the Mount”. In the Bible, the mountain is regarded as a place where God reveals himself. Jesus, by preaching on the mount, reveals himself to be a divine teacher, a new Moses. What does he tell us? He shows us the way to life, the way that he himself has taken. Jesus himself is the way, and he proposes this way as the path to true happiness. Throughout his life, from his birth in the stable in Bethlehem until his death on the cross and his resurrection, Jesus embodied the Beatitudes. All the promises of God’s Kingdom were fulfilled in him.

In proclaiming the Beatitudes, Jesus asks us to follow him and to travel with him along the path of love, the path that alone leads to eternal life. It is not an easy journey, yet the Lord promises us his grace and he never abandons us. We face so many challenges in life: poverty, distress, humiliation, the struggle for justice, persecutions, the difficulty of daily conversion, the effort to remain faithful to our call to holiness, and many others. But if we open the door to Jesus and allow him to be part of our lives, if we share our joys and sorrows with him, then we will experience the peace and joy that only God, who is infinite love, can give.

The Beatitudes of Jesus are new and revolutionary. They present a model of happiness contrary to what is usually communicated by the media and by the prevailing wisdom. A worldly way of thinking finds it scandalous that God became one of us and died on a cross! According to the logic of this world, those whom Jesus proclaimed blessed are regarded as useless, “losers”. What is glorified is success at any cost, affluence, the arrogance of power and self-affirmation at the expense of others.

Jesus challenges us, young friends, to take seriously his approach to life and to decide which path is right for us and leads to true joy. This is the great challenge of faith. Jesus was not afraid to ask his disciples if they truly wanted to follow him or if they preferred to take another path (cf. Jn 6:67). Simon Peter had the courage to reply: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn 6:68). If you too are able to say “yes” to Jesus, your lives will become both meaningful and fruitful.

2. The courage to be happy

What does it mean to be “blessed” (makarioi in Greek)? To be blessed means to be happy. Tell me: Do you really want to be happy? In an age when we are constantly being enticed by vain and empty illusions of happiness, we risk settling for less and “thinking small” when it comes to the meaning of life. Think big instead! Open your hearts! As Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati once said, “To live without faith, to have no heritage to uphold, to fail to struggle constantly to defend the truth: this is not living. It is scraping by. We should never just scrape by, but really live” (Letter to I. Bonini, 27 February 1925). In his homily on the day of Piergiorgio Frassati’s beatification (20 May 1990),John Paul II called him “a man of the Beatitudes” (AAS 82 [1990], 1518).

If you are really open to the deepest aspirations of your hearts, you will realize that you possess an unquenchable thirst for happiness, and this will allow you to expose and reject the “low cost” offers and approaches all around you. When we look only for success, pleasure and possessions, and we turn these into idols, we may well have moments of exhilaration, an illusory sense of satisfaction, but ultimately we become enslaved, never satisfied, always looking for more. It is a tragic thing to see a young person who “has everything”, but is weary and weak.

Saint John, writing to young people, told them: “You are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 Jn 2:14). Young people who choose Christ are strong: they are fed by his word and they do not need to ‘stuff themselves’ with other things! Have the courage to swim against the tide. Have the courage to be truly happy! Say no to an ephemeral, superficial and throwaway culture, a culture that assumes that you are incapable of taking on responsibility and facing the great challenges of life!

3. Blessed are the poor in spirit

The first Beatitude, our theme for the next World Youth Day, says that the poor in spirit are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. At a time when so many people are suffering as a result of the financial crisis, it might seem strange to link poverty and happiness. How can we consider poverty a blessing?

First of all, let us try to understand what it means to be “poor in spirit”. When the Son of God became man, he chose the path of poverty and self-emptying. As Saint Paul said in his letter to the Philippians: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness” (2:5-7). Jesus is God who strips himself of his glory. Here we see God’s choice to be poor: he was rich and yet he became poor in order to enrich us through his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). This is the mystery we contemplate in the crib when we see the Son of God lying in a manger, and later on the cross, where his self-emptying reaches its culmination.

The Greek adjective ptochós (poor) does not have a purely material meaning. It means “a beggar”, and it should be seen as linked to the Jewish notion of the anawim, “God’s poor”. It suggests lowliness, a sense of one’s limitations and existential poverty. The anawim trust in the Lord, and they know that they can count on him.

As Saint Therese of the Child Jesus clearly saw, by his incarnation Jesus came among us as a poor beggar, asking for our love. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “man is a beggar before God” (No. 2559) and that prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst and our own thirst (No. 2560).

Saint Francis of Assisi understood perfectly the secret of the Beatitude of the poor in spirit. Indeed, when Jesus spoke to him through the leper and from the crucifix, Francis recognized both God’s grandeur and his own lowliness. In his prayer, the Poor Man of Assisi would spend hours asking the Lord: “Who are you?” “Who am I?” He renounced an affluent and carefree life in order to marry “Lady Poverty”, to imitate Jesus and to follow the Gospel to the letter. Francis lived in imitation of Christ in his poverty and in love for the poor – for him the two were inextricably linked – like two sides of one coin.

You might ask me, then: What can we do, specifically, to make poverty in spirit a way of life, a real part of our own lives? I will reply by saying three things.

First of all, try to be free with regard to material things. The Lord calls us to a Gospel lifestyle marked by sobriety, by a refusal to yield to the culture of consumerism. This means being concerned with the essentials and learning to do without all those unneeded extras which hem us in. Let us learn to be detached from possessiveness and from the idolatry of money and lavish spending. Let us put Jesus first. He can free us from the kinds of idol-worship which enslave us. Put your trust in God, dear young friends! He knows and loves us, and he never forgets us. Just as he provides for the lilies of the field (cf. Mt 6:28), so he will make sure that we lack nothing. If we are to come through the financial crisis, we must be also ready to change our lifestyle and avoid so much wastefulness. Just as we need the courage to be happy, we also need the courage to live simply.

Second, if we are to live by this Beatitude, all of us need to experience a conversion in the way we see the poor. We have to care for them and be sensitive to their spiritual and material needs. To you young people I especially entrust the task of restoring solidarity to the heart of human culture. Faced with old and new forms of poverty – unemployment, migration and addictions of various kinds  we have the duty to be alert and thoughtful, avoiding the temptation to remain indifferent. We have to remember all those who feel unloved, who have no hope for the future and who have given up on life out of discouragement, disappointment or fear. We have to learn to be on the side of the poor, and not just indulge in rhetoric about the poor! Let us go out to meet them, look into their eyes and listen to them. The poor provide us with a concrete opportunity to encounter Christ himself, and to touch his suffering flesh.

However – and this is my third point – the poor are not just people to whom we can give something. They havemuch to offer us and to teach us. How much we have to learn from the wisdom of the poor! Think about it: several hundred years ago a saint, Benedict Joseph Labré, who lived on the streets of Rome from the alms he received, became a spiritual guide to all sorts of people, including nobles and prelates. In a very real way, the poor are our teachers. They show us that people’s value is not measured by their possessions or how much money they have in the bank. A poor person, a person lacking material possessions, always maintains his or her dignity. The poor can teach us much about humility and trust in God. In the parable of the pharisee and the tax-collector (cf. Lk 18:9-14), Jesus holds the tax-collector up as a model because of his humility and his acknowledgment that he is a sinner. The widow who gave her last two coins to the temple treasury is an example of the generosity of all those who have next to nothing and yet give away everything they have (Lk 21:1-4).

4. … for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

The central theme of the Gospel is the kingdom of God. Jesus is the kingdom of God in person; he is Immanuel, God-with-us. And it is in the human heart that the kingdom, God’s sovereignty, takes root and grows. The kingdom is at once both gift and promise. It has already been given to us in Jesus, but it has yet to be realized in its fullness. That is why we pray to the Father each day: “Thy kingdom come”.

There is a close connection between poverty and evangelization, between the theme of the last World Youth Day – “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations!” (Mt 28:19) – and the theme for this year: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The Lord wants a poor Church which evangelizes the poor. When Jesus sent the Twelve out on mission, he said to them: “Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the labourers deserve their food” (Mt 10:9-10). Evangelical poverty is a basic condition for spreading the kingdom of God. The most beautiful and spontaneous expressions of joy which I have seen during my life were by poor people who had little to hold onto. Evangelization in our time will only take place as the result of contagious joy.

We have seen, then, that the Beatitude of the poor in spirit shapes our relationship with God, with material goods and with the poor. With the example and words of Jesus before us, we realize how much we need to be converted, so that the logic of being more will prevail over that of having more! The saints can best help us to understand the profound meaning of the Beatitudes. So the canonization of John Paul II, to be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter, will be an event marked by immense joy. He will be the great patron of the World Youth Days which he inaugurated and always supported. In the communion of saints he will continue to be a father and friend to all of you.

This month of April marks the thirtieth anniversary of the entrustment of the Jubilee Cross of the Redemption to the young. That symbolic act by John Paul II was the beginning of the great youth pilgrimage which has since crossed the five continents. The Pope’s words on that Easter Sunday in 1984 remain memorable: “My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of the love of the Lord Jesus for humanity, and proclaim to everyone that it is only in Christ, who died and rose from the dead, that salvation and redemption are to be found”.

Dear friends, the Magnificat, the Canticle of Mary, poor in spirit, is also the song of everyone who lives by the Beatitudes. The joy of the Gospel arises from a heart which, in its poverty, rejoices and marvels at the works of God, like the heart of Our Lady, whom all generations call “blessed” (cf. Lk 1:48). May Mary, Mother of the poor and Star of the new evangelization help us to live the Gospel, to embody the Beatitudes in our lives, and to have the courage always to be happy.

From the Vatican, 21 January 2014
Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Francis

 


© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

ECY-Philippines WYD2013 E-Magazine

Happy Easter, ka-lakbays! As an Easter gift, we proudly present to you the ECY-Philippines WYD2013 E-MAGAZINE.  It is a special magazine that will take you to a JOURNEY that is heart-warming and life-changing… no other than the World Youth Day!  Reading this will be like digging into a treasure chest of memories of the pilgrims of the ECY-Philippines Delegation who have received the blessing of taking part in this international celebration of faith and mission last July 2013.

We hope that you will enjoy this magazine as you also take to heart the mission that we have all received from our Risen Lord through the WYD: Go and Make Disciples of All Nations! [Mt. 28:19]

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Let us be filled with the new life won for us by Jesus, for a renewed impetus for the mission!

 

WYD 2013 Video

ECY & WYD2013 “Go and make disciples of all nations” [Matthew 28:19] The ECY-Philippines is the official delegation of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). With the experiences from forming this delegation every WYD since 1997, the ECY-Philippines offers a path of preparation and participation that is efficient, meaningful and enabling. Throughout the WYD experience, its Delegation Secretariat accompanies the pilgrims towards a meaningful pilgrimage.

ECY & WYD2013

“Go and make disciples of all nations” [Matthew 28:19]

The ECY-Philippines is the official delegation of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). With the experiences from forming this delegation every WYD since 1997, the ECY-Philippines offers a path of preparation and participation that is efficient, meaningful and enabling. Throughout the WYD experience, its Delegation Secretariat accompanies the pilgrims towards a meaningful pilgrimage.

ECY-Philippines

About 180 ECY-Philippines pilgrims from 30 origins namely: Adamson University Campus Ministry, Assumption – Antipolo, Assumption College – Makati, Archdiocese of San Fernando, Archdiocesan Commission of Lipa, Chiro Youth Movement, CFC-Singles for Family and Life, CFC-Youth for Family and Life, CFC-Youth for Christ, Davao Archdiocesan Youth Coordinating Apostolate, Diocese of Antipolo, Diocese of Bacolod, Diocese of Butuan, Diocese of Cabanatuan, Diocese of Dumaguete, Diocese of Ilagan, Diocese of Kabankalan, Diocese of Legazpi, Diocese of Malolos, Diocese of Marbel, Diocese of Mati, Diocese of Paranaque, Hospicio de San Jose, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines – Commission on Youth, Religious of the Assumption, Santuario del Cristo Parish, SK Taytay Palawan, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity – Australia, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and YouthPinoy! will participate in the WYD2013 in Rio de Janeiro.

A meaningful World Youth Day experience begins in the smallest unit which we call Sub-Groups. The Sub-Groups undertake preparatory activities and formation programs to create and nurture “good soils” where the seeds of faith may be planted anew and thrive. Examples of formation activities are group reading of the Message of the Holy Father on WYD2013 and Gospel sharing on “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Practical preparations include fund-raising activities, learning Portuguese and interesting facts about Rio de Janeiro.

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The prelude to World Youth Day in Rio is the Missionary Week. The ECY-Philippines delegation will stay at the Diocese of Petropolis. The delegation will be (each) clustered into four parishes under the Diocese of Petropolis namely: Parish Nossa Senhora Aparecida de Piabeta, Parish Sao Sebastiao de Piabeta, Parish Nossa Senhora da Guia de Pacobaiba and Parish Sao Nicolau de Surui.

The ECY-Philippines will assist in some WYD functions such as facilitating one English catechetical site and animating Asian Youth Gathering. Also, four young pilgrims were chosen to serve in Liturgy of the WYD2013.

World Youth Day has always been a special time of blessing for the young people. This WYD2013 – the preparation, anticipation, the suffering, trials, but also, the laughter, gifts and graces will be a life-changing experience for the pilgrims.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that WYD is new evangelization put into practice. This will be an inspiration that will move the youth ministry of the Philippines to a fresh enthusiasm of making disciples of all nations.

 

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s message to young people 

“Go and make disciples of all nations!” (cf. Mt28:19)

Hino Oficial JMJ Rio2013 “Esperança do Amanhecer”

Delegation Preparatory Session: a foretaste of WYD2013

“Cristo, nos convida, venham meus amigos…” You can really see in their moves how the pilgrims are enjoying the dance steps of the WYD2013 Theme Song especially in the way they make gestures of friendship to one another.

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The WYD2013 pilgrims of the ECY-Philippines gathered for a Delegation Preparatory Session last 06-07 July 2013, in Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati. This encounter form part of the final stage of their preparation before going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as Filipino missionaries of faith to the WYD2013.

The encounter became a meaningful moment of grounding one’s self to the theme and spirit of the WYD. The pilgrims had the chance to share their personal journey of faith, acknowledging the people and experiences, which brought them to a personal encounter with Christ.

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“Another spring that will let me drink God’s living water that will satisfy my thirst, especially after having a difficult journey in the past months. I am very happy that I will be closing this 7-month of Exodus experience with a big bang! A great experience that I will forever treasure. God saved the best for last!” says Mr. Karl Michael Hila, a pilgrim from Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Click here to read his full reflection).

Moreover, the pilgrims expressed the present realities and challenges which call for them to respond more concretely to the invitation of evangelizing Christ in the world of the young today. All these reflections were inspired by the message of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for this year’s WYD.

The excitement builds up as the pilgrims had the chance to know the new Successor of Peter, Pope Francis, through trivia and multimedia presentation prepared by the ECY Youth Ministers Sub-Group. “Getting to know Pope Francis more added a different sense of excitement. His humility was greatly emphasized when his timeline was presented. Hardly knew him, not even his full name…” says Jaiza Anuat, a pilgrim from the Diocese of Antipolo (Click here to read her full reflection). This session made a significant impact on the pilgrims. They were moved by the example shown by Pope Francis, how he made seemingly extraordinary things in the early months of his papacy, which, in reality, push us Catholics to go back to what is basic and essential in living our faith – that is, to become Christ to one another, humble and self-giving, especially to the poorest among us. This is the mission that our dear Holy Father urgently calls us to do.

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The pilgrims also surfaced the reasons that they have for joining the WYD and they were led to reflect on these reasons in the light of the elements of WYD according to His Holiness Benedict the XVI. These elements helped them understand all the more the beautiful rationale why the Church gathers the young faithful on this occasion, and that is to provide them a strong experience of the Church’s universality, to be reconciled with Him and be affirmed by His love. “In the 10-month duration of our formation in the Diocese, my intentions, I knew was purified already but it was made clearer when I wrote them in the 5 pieces of blue papers. I felt them “materialized”, rather than just lingering in my mind. I know these blue strips of paper will give me something to hold on to just in case I’ll be lost in my journey…” Jaiza added.

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Another significant part of the Delegation Preparatory Session was the orientation given to the pilgrims. This provided them important information that they need to know about the ECY-Philippines Delegation: the General Program of the WYD, relevant inputs from the organizers in Rio, and other practical tips which will be useful for them as they make their last preparations before leaving for the WYD. “On the practical side the sessions on the 2nd day were of great help to alleviate my fears of travelling abroad for the 1st time while the sessions on the meal cards and transportation cards gave me some much sought for assurance that I will not get lost and die of hunger (I joke). The simulation in particular helped me get a better grasp of what to do during actual boarding and departure,” says Tyler Jared Boone, a pilgrim from the Diocese of Legazpi and the ECY Youth Ministers Sub-Group (Click here to read his full reflection).

The Group Heads and Group Assistant Heads also met the Sub-Group Leaders and Assistant Leaders for the release of documents and giving final instructions to guide them in accompanying the pilgrims. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, Head of the ECY-Philippines Delegation, expressed his gratitude to them for the trust that they have given and the collaboration that is already shared between them and the ECY. He expressed the joy of journeying with them in this WYD celebration.

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ECY-Philippines 2 Group Heads

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ECY-Philippines 3 Group Heads

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ECY-Philippines 4 Group Heads

ECY-Philippines 4 Group Heads

True enough, the joyful anticipation was in the air all throughout the encounter.   The seemingly unstoppable sharing, eating meals together, and dancing of animation songs brought out their youthful energy, and bonded the pilgrims in the spirit of friendship. At the heart of it all, the moments of prayer and partaking in the Eucharistic meal made the gathering fruitful and spiritually uplifting, taking everyone to the real core of the WYD – Jesus Christ himself! “The journey is deep within. If you miss the point of Jesus, you miss the whole point…” says Most Rev. Joel Z. Baylon, ECY Chairman and Bishop of the Diocese of Legazpi.

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WYD2013 has already begun! The WYD2013 Preparatory Session became a foretaste of this! ” This Preparatory session is helpful since I was able to picture out what will happen in Rio de Janeiro and it reminded me of the important things that I need to do as I make my personal preparations” says Ms. Ermelita Kasilag, a pilgrim from the Archdiocese of Lipa (Click here to read her full reflection).With bright smiles and hope-filled hearts, the pilgrims are now ready to embark on a wonderful journey of faith and embrace the call of mission in the WYD2013 “Go and make disciples of all nations!”

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SEJAM MISSIONARIOS!

 

Accompanying the ECY-Philippines

With just 25 days remaining before World Youth Day 2013, the ECY-Philippines Delegation Secretariat prepares for the task of accompanying the ECY-Philippines. The Delegation Secretariat had a tie-down meeting last 27 June 2013.  Present were the Cluster Heads, namely Fr. Conegundo B. Garganta and Ms. Melanie F. Santos for Cluster 1; Mr. Stephen G. Borja and Ms. Mary Whilssy P. Candelaria for Cluster 2; Ms. Lea P. Dasigan and Fr. Romel P. Enar for Cluster 3; Mr. Elgene M. Amagsila and Ms. Venus L. Ponio for Cluster 4 together with representatives from YouthPinoy: Ms. Kris P. Bayos, Ms. Sky A. Ortigas, Ms. Nirva E. Dela Cruz and Mr. Jandell R. Posion. They were assisted by Ms. Maria Victoria A. Tacderas and Mr. Noly A. Cebritas.

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During the meeting, the Delegation Secretariat defined each one’s roles in relation to the whole delegation. Practical elements of the pilgrimage were given.  Plans were laid down on how to best organize and accompany the ECY-Philippines pilgrims throughout their WYD2013 journey.  To “accompany” means to be one’s companion in a journey; not to manage as a leader or someone who imposes, but someone who lives the whole journey with the pilgrim, like Jesus did when he walked together with the two apostles on the Road to Emmaus.

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This is what each member of the Delegation Secretariat will strive to do. Greater efforts will be put in ensuring that each ECY-Philippines pilgrim will have a meaningful and grace-filled WYD2013 pilgrimage.

And how will the ECY-Philippines pilgrims be involved in the whole accompaniment scheme? They will soon find out during the Delegation Preparatory Session on 06-07 July 2013 at the JOY CENTER of the Don Bosco Technical Institute, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.