Reflection on the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization 2013

16-18 October 2013

Behold, God makes all things new! (cf. Rev. 20:5)  This is the theme of the recently-concluded Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) held at the University of Santo Tomas last 16-18 October 2013.  There were over 5,000 participants from various dioceses and organizations around the Philippines who attended this successful event.  There were also delegations coming from various Asian countries who participated in the said conference.

Five ECY Secretariat staff took the opportunity to participate in the PCNE.  All of them affirmed that their experience of the said conference has been a blessing; certainly an experience of God’s loving presence in them.

The ECY Secretariat staffs share their reflection on their experience of the PCNE:

The participants chose from hundreds of workshops stemming from main themes: the Word of God; paths of prayer; ways of praying for unjust structures of society; healing encounters, encountering God through music and arts; new media/video games; and Mary and popular devotions.

One of the highpoints was the video message from Pope Francis delivered during the concluding celebration. It moved everyone to tears.

“We are sent as humble and poor servants of the kingdom and its message. We are not sent in order to prove something to God or to ourselves. We are not here for conquest. We are here simply to share the riches that we have heard, seen, and touched,” Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the prime mover of the conference, said.

This conference made me more alive in the ministry. I renewed my love for the church and I am so proud of being a Catholic. After PCNE, the greatest challenge for me now is to to bring the light of the gospel wherever I may be, in new ardor and expressions bringing back the imagination in the service of faith.” – Ms. Mary Whilssy P. Candelaria

“The PCNE was for me a breath of fresh air, thanks to the very rich plenary inputs of the invited speakers which led us to reflect on the continuing call and relevance of evangelization in today’s world.  Taking “new ardor, new methods, new expressions” in bringing the message of Christ across echoes all throughout the conference.   The inputs affirmed what we have already been doing as pastoral workers, but challenged us even more to make Christ more relevant and deeply felt by those who have become indifferent to the faith, especially to the least, the lost and the last.

I am also grateful for the “Streams” and “Wellsprings” that I have attended during the conference.  Looking back to it, I can say that these two are very well linked to each other.  They are so closely linked that I can just simply sum it up as: “My Heart’s Refrain: Jesus is the Answer!”  After the PCNE experience, it dawned upon me that Jesus is asking me to strive all the more to look unto Him and fix my gaze on Him, to make Him the unending music of my life.  Jesus is telling me not to lose my focus on Him, and allow Him to do the maneuvering and rerouting of my life, according to His plan.

My PCNE experience reminded me that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”  These words are already enough to make me tremble.  But then again, I was reminded through this experience that the task of evangelization is not just a work of one, but a mission we share as Jesus’ disciples.  It is through us that He will be able to transform our hearts and make all things new in this world.  Amen.” – Ms. Maria Lea P. Dasigan

“I am so blessed that I was able to attend the 1st Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE).  God, through this 3-day experience, re-affirmed me in what I am doing now as a youth minister, and challenged me to do better in following Him.  I was reminded that the love story between Jesus and I is the good news I can tell to others.  And that challenged me!  God called me to assess myself everyday if other people get to encounter Jesus in my words, thoughts and actions.  He also said to me, “Lanie, share me in a simple way, yet at your best!”

With those words, I promised to create a blog site where I will share my past reflections and my present and future journals.  I also commit myself to post Scripture verses, spiritual quotes and reflections on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  I believe doing these is my own simple way yet my best in doing new evangelization.

Thanks to the love I felt during those days – the love of my Catholic Church, especially of Pope Francis.  His message touched me.  I felt like he was speaking to me personally.  His message is full of humility.  His message is love!”

Indeed, God makes all things new!” Ms. Melanie F. Santos

“I felt happy knowing that a lot of older people are still and also concerned with the growth of the church. I always had that notion that the parish elders are doing nothing to invite more people to go to church or to find ways to deepen the faith of those already serving in the parish. I was blown away by Cardinal Tagle’s opening message during the Misang Bayan. He told us that we should start the congress with humility, and I was struck, because if there was a virtue I was struggling to have, it is humility.

I was a new experience when I attended the stream on God among Indigenous People. It was an eye-opener for me on the struggles of IPs in our country. It helped me understand them more and how I can relate to them more. In church activities, we always see them as subjects or recipients of our outreach activities, giving gifts we think would be helpful for them not knowing they need more important things than the ones we give them. I was reminded of living simply, of being content with the things that we have, and of really being aware of what others around me need. 

The sheer number of attendees in the conference was another thing to note, too. I believe that this is the biggest crowd I belonged to when it comes to attending a conference. It strengthened me in my faith journey, knowing that I am not alone in my desire to know Jesus more, to be able to evangelize others and to share in Christ’s mission to bring the good news to all. I was also affirmed when speakers say that the youth are the present and future of the Church. It was like a simple pat on the back from Jesus that I am doing the right thing, of choosing Him over other things here on earth. And this conference ignited within me a desire to serve more, because it made me see how much work still needs to be done to bring more people into the church. But I dare not give up on my mission, because with Christ, I know that I am never alone.”Ms. Nikko Delaine A. Sebastian

“I have received meaningful insights and learnings from my experience of the PCNE.  I was affirmed by God, telling me that despite my handicap, I AM A BLESSING AS I AM BLESSED!  The Word of God is very central to this event as we have been reminded that “in the Word, we are one.”

I have learned that it is important to bring imagination back into the service of the Church.  Imagination is another word for evangelization.  This is what we experience when we allow God to be seen, felt and touched; and not just something to be grasped by our human intelligence.  We are invited to learn from Popular Religiosity, an experience of a spiritual wisdom – it involves faith encounter with the Lord.  In the environment of secularization, Popular Religiosity is a confession of the living God who reveals Himself in our history.  He acts in our lives.  Popular religiosity is a personal experience of faith.

We can take part in the mission of new evangelization coming from our personal encounter with the Lord.  And this encounter with the Lord can only make things new in our life if it is an encounter with the Risen Lord, whose glory we get to experience whenever we participate in the Holy Eucharist.  Thus, I am invited to increase my faith by making the practice of prayer constant in my life.  Prayer is my source of strength; it is necessary in my life.” Ms. Maria Victoria A. Tacderas


FNYO launches ‘new look’

After 23 years, the FNYO unveiled a new logo at its annual FNYO Day last December 15.

QUEZON CITY, Dec. 16, 2013—Celebrating the “unity in diversity” of 17 youth organizations, the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) presented its “new look” at its annual FNYO Day last December 15.

Hosted by Claret School, Quezon City, the event featured the launching of the official FNYO song, a reorganized FNYO handbook, its official website, and a new logo.

Bernadette Felix of Chiro Pilipinas presented the new FNYO handbook, which will be available to the public by March 2014. According to Felix, the handbook aims to introduce FNYO and the different organizations it comprises to more people, as well as to be a guide on the services and programs the federation can offer to young people in the dioceses.

The attendees got to see the spiffy, new website of FNYO, as showcased by one of its webmasters, Frence Boiser of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP).

The interactive website, which contains relevant information about the FNYO and its member-organizations, can now be accessed at Macoy Quinto of CFC-Youth for Christ (CFC-YFC) is the other webmaster of the site.

Shortly after, Chadrix Tañada of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) introduced the new FNYO logo, which features the FNYO acronym visible inside a circle, which symbolizes the Host, the Body of Christ, and is intersected by the cross, which represents Jesus Christ. Yellow, the predominant color of the logo, represents the Church and signifies the FNYO’s primary goal of leading young people towards the “Light of the World”, Jesus Christ.

He explained, the logo still contains the elements of the federation’s motto, “Iisa kahit magkakaiba” (unity in diversity), which is symbolized by the four human figures with different colors.

Lea Dasigan of the SYM-FMA composed the FNYO’s first ever official song, titled “We Journey Together as One” with musical arrangements made by Fr. Danny Dadule, SDB. The official animation dance was also introduced.

The 23-year-old umbrella organization is composed of CFC-Singles for Christ (CFC-SFC), CFC-Singles for Family and Life CFC-Youth for Christ (CFC-YFC), CFC-Youth for Family and Life (CFC-YFL), Chiro Pilipinas, Christian Life Communities of the Philippines, Christ Youth in Action (CYA), Columbian Squires, Filipino Youth with a Mission (FYM), Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth (FCCY), Institucion Teresiana (IT) Youth, Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC), Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) – SDB/FMA, Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP), Youth for Mary and Christ, and Franciscan Youth (YouFra).

Source: CBCP NEws Article by Mark Vertido/Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz