LAOAG City, August 29, 2011—The Diocese of Laoag celebrated the World Youth Day on August 16 with the presence of the National Youth Cross in the diocese.
In pilgrimage across the country since January 31, the NYC had already traversed around Visayas and Mindanao. It arrived in the Northern Luzon Region last August 2 with the Diocese of Urdaneta as the first stop.
From the Diocese of Bangued, the pilgrim Cross was brought to the Diocese of Laoag on August 16. It was warmly welcomed by the faithful in parishes, diocesan schools, and national high schools.
An estimated 10,000 young people were able to see the NYC during its six days of stay in the diocese.
Touched by the presence of the Cross
As the Pilgrim Cross travelled around the diocese, many young people expressed appreciation on how their lives were touched by the presence of the Cross.
The prayers of petitions offered during the visit of the Cross mostly touched on the strengthening of family bond, stronger faith in God and healing from illness, especially dengue.
Delegates from parishes and Catholic schools prayed the Taize prayer during the evening vigil of the Cross.
The vigil started with a Eucharistic Celebration by Msgr. Noel Ian Rabago, the newly-elected Diocesan Administrator of St. William Cathedral Parish.
During his homily, Msgr. Rabago stressed the challenge for the elders of the community to support the young people and their spiritual initiatives.
The WYD celebrations followed after the Mass. The program included animation, Taize prayer, presentation for the NYC and a showcase of accomplishments of the Parish Youth Councils.
The participants had a youth walk the following morning carrying the NYC around the vicinity of the Church compound. The festivities ended with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Lester Menor, Laoag’s Diocesan Youth Director.
On August 21, the NYC was lifted to the Apostolic Prelature of Batanes where the youth also were awaiting its visit.
The Pilgrim Cross is due to arrive in the Diocese of Baguio on September 13, and from there it will be brought to the Military Ordinariate in Quezon City. (Mark Vertido)