by Pamela del Rio
Celebrating a great festival of faith, and by far the largest gathering of youth, thousands of young people from all over the world converged in Madrid for the 26th World Youth Day (WYD) held last 15-21 August, with the theme “Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith.”
Filipino Catholic youth joined the rest of the world in the World Youth Day (WYD) celebration through an overnight vigil at the Ateneo de Manila University themed “Kabataang Pilipino, Nakaugat kay Kristo.” The event held at the University grounds from Saturday afternoon, 20 August, until early Sunday morning, 21 August, was highlighted by a live feed of Pope Benedict XVI’s message to the youth telecast from Madrid, Spain. In his message, the Holy Father emphasized the importance of passing on to today’s generation solid points of reference, received from previous generations, that can help them make choices by which they can build their lives.
The vigil in Manila unfolded in a three-fold program beginning with a youth festival, followed by the catechesis of the faith, and finally, the liturgy. Several youth leaders of the Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, including Ma. Pamela Angela del Rio, Nicollette Jubaile Marie Del Rio, Janella Ross del Rosario, Kemuel Fadera, Sara May Aquino, Nathalie Mercado, Kris Carlo Benitez, Sheinne Jacoba, Perry Dale Sercado, Joeji Tabinas, Ivan John Mendoza, Apollo Anos, Kristine Joy Aquino, Wilhelm Jayobo, Kathlyn Mae Miranda, Mark Iren Neri, Maria Gracia Macalalad, Christian del Rosario, Ron Siervo, Emerlina Lee, Catherine Samson, Rambo Miano, and Jennifer Baula were privileged to be counted among the throng of young faithful willing to be rooted and built up in Jesus Christ.
The overnight youth vigil was organized by the Ateneo de Manila University, the Campus Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao, Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc., Tanging Yaman Foundation, and Episcopal Commission on Youth – CBCP.
World Youth Day is an important legacy left by the late Pope John Paul II, which Pope Benedict XVI has faithfully carried on in continuously sharing the message of hope to the youth of the world, inviting them, and commissioning them as Christ’s disciples to become faithful living witnesses of the Gospel teachings.