15,000 young people from the whole Philippines join the 2019 NYD
By FIS SYM
Cebu, the Philippines, 28 April 2019 -- After a year's preparation, about 15,000 Catholic youth (leaders) from all Filipino dioceses gathered for the opening of their National Youth Day in Cebu (April 23 - 29), marking the special Year of the Youth (Beloved - Gifted - Empowered Youth) in the cradle of Catholic Faith, Cebu City. The opening Mass with the procession, attended also by 400 Filipino Salesian Youth Movement delegates from all 3 provinces (FIN-SDB, FIS-SDB and FIL-FMA) was led by Archbishop Jose Palma (Cebu), who stressed that Jesus always walks beside the youth!
The following days are tailored according to the WYD scheme: those from outside living in the hosting parishes, with celebrations, volunteer services and catechesis. What is meaningful for the Salesian Family of Don Bosco, was probably the first ever experience (at national level) of the VIA LUCIS (Way of the Light) developed by the Salesian Family Group (Witness of the Risen Lord) in 1988. The Via Lucis was on the agenda last Thursday night.
One of the young participants shared after the Via Lucis: "Let us remember, that, through this devotion we never deny the Cross – which we all know of as the symbol of Christ’s love for humanity. Instead, we even increase our knowledge and faith on what it truly is: a symbol the we are all embraced and beloved by Jesus; a gift from the Heavenly Father who allowed His Son to die for our sins; and an empowerment by the Holy Spirit for those who suffer, serve and stay in the Lord. One day we, like Mary, who are called to share in the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ will also be called to participate in His Resurrection and in the fullness of His glory."
400 Youth from the SYM Philippines are accompanied by the Salesians SDB and FMA sisters with senior animators. They experience not only the hospitality of the Cebu island parishes but also get to know each other and the Don Bosco and FMA settings in Cebu. We pray that the NYD 2019 Cebu experience will enhance the revival of the Salesian Vocational & Youth Ministry in all Salesian settings especially in view of the 500 years of Philippines evangelization (1521-2021).