New Evangelization conference reaffirms, youth are ‘blessings’

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MANILA, Oct. 26, 2013—Talking about the youth and their unique situation took center stage at the Philippine Conference for New Evangelization (PCNE) where speakers all re-affirmed the Church’s belief that young people are blessings.                      

One of the very last messages of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during the PCNE emphasized how the different groups and leaders in the Church need to see young people as allies in the faith. 

“Sometimes, we see young people as wild enemies,” he said during the closing mass of the PCNE last October 18. 

Communication gap 

Quoting a Japanese youth who spoke during a gathering of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), Cardinal Tagle said, the youth asked the bishops present to stop seeing young people as “problems”, but to start seeing them as “human beings” and as “blessings.” 

He also encouraged workers and leaders in the Church to take time to listen to young people to understand their sentiments and concerns. 

“We have to listen, we have to understand. Maybe the message is being conveyed to us in a manner that we are not used to,” Cardinal Tagle added. 

This communication gap, according to him, is often worsened by a lack of worthy role models at home and in the Church. 

“What are the young looking for? They are looking for integrity. They are looking for authenticity. They are looking for consistency,” Cardinal Tagle said in Filipino. 

‘Highest priority’ 

The PCNE concretized the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines’s declaration that the “youth ministry should be assured of the fullest attention and highest priority in every way by all in the Church” (Art. 50, No. 2) by dedicating one “pathway” or an entire set of talks just on the topic of “Journeying with the Youth”. 

Sixteen simultaneous PCNE talks were made available for those involved in some form of youth ministry or for those who simply want to learn more about relating to the youth. 

Some of the topics discussed included “Social Networking: Traditional or Non-Traditional ‘Selling Christ’”, given by Lito Buñag, Managing Director of Investor Relations Global, Inc; “Jesus: A Rockstar”by Fr. Xavier Alpasa, SJ; “Whole Brain Learning System” by Sr. Felicitas Bernardo, SPC; “Religious Instruction in the 21st Century: Encountering Jesus on Campus” by Fr. Earl Alan Cura, CICM, among others. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

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