MALOLOS City, Oct. 27, 2011?Following the theme of the previous World Youth Day celebration in Madrid, Spain, “Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith”, around 300 selected young people from different parishes of the diocese of Malolos participated in an overnight re-echoing of WYD.
The activity, organized by the diocese’s Commission on Youth and delegates who attended WYD in Madrid took place at the Immaculate Conception School for Boys last Oct. 21-22.
The event was organized to allow the young people of the diocese who haven’t had the chance to participate in Spain and previous celebrations, to experience the World Youth Day.
The activity started with the enthronement and praying of the rosary, followed by games to energize participants.
Diocesan Vicar General Msgr. Andy Valera told participants that “Faith should always have an adjective attached on it and should be steadfast, strong and everlasting.”
He said that if the youth want to have a communication with God, one must have a strong faith and by entering the community of the Church through the sacraments that the Church is giving us, we are reminded of our promise to love Christ.
Malolos delegates to World Youth Day 2011 shared their experience, their hardship, their realization, their reflection, and the blessings they have received from God during their stay in Spain.
WYD is not your dream vacation because it is not for tourists, but it is a pilgrimage and journey with Christ, said Whilssy Candelaria.
Enduring the summer heat vis–à–vis the very busy week of the on-going WYD week, the long walks, long line of getting the food, sleeping on the floor in the gym and bathing in a communal bathroom were just few of the many hard experiences we had, Candelaria continued.
“But it taught me the very essence of being a Catholic; it is through sacrifice; therefore it is by the cross that we become a full–pledge Christians,” Candelaria added.
Candelaria shared that these experiences require a lot of patience and endurance thus being firm in the Faith is being open to discomforts in such a way that the experiences should be offered to Christ Jesus.
Whilssy Candelaria is the diocesan youth head of Malolos and was one of the delegates who participated in Spain.
Meanwhile, Fr. Lenard Hernandez and Fr. Ramil Juat, who were also delegates during the Madrid celebration shared and encouraged the youth to stand firm and grow in the faith.
“It is not our choice where to be planted but it’s our choice if we will grow or not… Wherever we are planted, God planted in us the seeds of faith and love… God has a plan for planting us where we are,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez presented to participants gears and items used during the Madrid event.
Juat on the other hand, said that if a person doesn’t have faith in God, that person can easily be defeated by evil.
“And if we want to see God, we need to prepare ourselves,” added Juat.
“Don’t brag what happened to you; instead proclaim the things and blessings of God gave to you,” shared Fr. Jay Santos, another priest delegate to Madrid WYD event.
“Don’t hide and keep your faith [to] yourselves but share and proclaim it to others,” Santos added.
Delegates of previous WYD from World Youth Day 1995 to 2008 also shared the fruits and blessings they got from participating in those events which inspired them to continue serving the youth ministry up to present.
A youthful Station of the Cross was also held around the parking lot of the Cathedral.
The event ended with the 7 a.m. Eucharistic Mass presided by Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros.
Bishop Oliveros praised the organizers for the activity and reiterated his full support to the youth ministry.
After the Mass, participants got the chance to kiss the relic (blood) of Blessed John Paul II which Bishop Oliveros brought with him from Poland where he attended a conference.
Blessed John Paul II is known as the Patron Saint of the Youth.
Participants of the WYD Echoing were encouraged to also echo the event in their respective parishes so that every youth can experience the WYD. (Ryan Rayos/Jandel Posion)