MAKATI City, July 7, 2013—A Catholic priest reminded pilgrims for the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) celebration to be ready to be missionaries and disciples of Christ during the international gathering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this July 2013.

CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta stressed the need to be prepared in the journey of faith for the WYD celebration. IMG_2332 web

“The preparatory session is inviting us to be ready for the international event, so that during our participation, we will all be responsible. Because we are all missionaries and disciples, there cannot be pretensions. If here you failed to manifest your being a missionary and disciple, it will be a challenge when we reach Brazil,” Garganta said in his homily for the 1st day of the preparatory session.

He asked for the understanding of the pilgrims on the things that the ECY-Philippines is doing for the official delegation.

“Thank you for your patience, I just don’t want you to experience discomfort there. The reason for us to gather for this preparatory session is to feel and practice the journey. Here, we embrace each other as disciples and missionaries and we help one another to be ready for the gathering. We will be Disciples of Christ and missionaries of the Gospel. From here, let us take whatever good that we can receive or absorb, so it can be part of our readiness for the celebration in Brazil,” explained Garganta.

“The message of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for the 28th WYD challenged us to be instruments of the message of the Gospel or to be missionaries on the Word of God to one another. Let us put on the skin that Christ is offering us, the skin of faith, trust and total surrender to Him, to His word, and most especially to His offering of Himself and love for us,” he furthered.

The preparatory session was held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City attended by around 180 pilgrims under the ECY-Philippines delegation, the official country delegation for the World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Jandel Posion)