LAOAG City, July 17, 2011â€”The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Laoag offered their novena masses leading to the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for young people aimed at creating deeper awareness among the faithful the importance of youth ministry in the Church, in this year of the youth.
The novena masses became a venue for the faithful to realize the role of the youth in the Church and the great impact adults have on them to lead a true Christian life.
Themed â€œCelebrating the Year of the Youth with Jesus through Mary,â€ the nine-day masses had a daily topic for homilist to reflect on and share to the faithful.
The topics were â€œThe Youth of the 21st Century,â€ â€œYouth: Hope of the Nation,â€ â€œYouth: Hope of the Church,â€ â€œChildren and Youth: Blessings from God,â€ â€œParents: First Educators of the Youth,â€ â€œThe Youth and the Kingdom of God,â€ â€œYouth Evangelizing the Youth,â€ â€œYouth Saints: Models of the Youth,â€ and â€œMary and Her Love for the Youth.â€
Newly-appointed Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio L. Utleg, who serves also as the Diocesan Administrator of the vacant see of Laoag, was the main celebrant on July 16, the feast of Our Lady.
â€œIt is a challenge to all of us, but particularly to the youth, to be a Saint,â€ the prelate told the faithful.
â€œBut it is sometimes hard to achieve this because our culture has placed a different meaning for holiness,â€ he explained.
The archbishop added that adults have the responsibility to guide the youth and nurture their idealism.
â€œThe youth is very vulnerable to the things outside them and we need to guide them to holiness. A person who is not striving for holiness is not being faithful to his vocation,â€ he reminded the people.
It has become a tradition for the people of Laoag to flock the monastery to join the novena and celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
The nuns took the opportunity to update the faithful on the celebrations of the Church, especially the CBCP-Year of the Youth.
They hoped that through the nine-day prayer, people will understand more the youth and their situation and help them in their daily struggle towards holiness, as well as make them feel they have a home inside the Church. (Mark Vertido)