Catholics Urged To Pray, Fast For National Youth Day In Cebu

The organizing team of the upcoming National Youth Day (NYD) 2019 in Cebu on Sunday urged Catholics in the archdiocese here to include in their prayers, penance, and fasting the successful conduct of the youth’s gathering next month.

Rev. Fr. Joselito “Batitoy” Gutierrez, member of the NYD 2019 steering committee, said the Archdiocese of Cebu has been busy preparing for the event which is slated on April 23-28.

Gutierrez said the archdiocese’s different parishes are ready to welcome delegates and pilgrims for the six-day religious event intended for the country’s youth.

“Sa pagka-karon, 44 days nalang ato na gyud dawaton ang National Youth Day. Sa pagkakaron, subsob atong pagpangandam aron pag-welcome sa mga delegado ug pilgrims (Today, we have 44 more days left before the staging of the National Youth Day. Right now, we are busy preparing to welcome delegates and pilgrims),” Gutierrez said in his daily verse-sharing video “Pan de Soul” posted via social media.

The Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Youth is expecting at least 10,000 youth participants coming from different parishes in the country. Over a thousand volunteer youths coming from different parishes in Cebu are also expected to assist as facilitators in the event.

“Hinaot unta nga sa atong pagpangandam, dili kita malimot nga kini buhat sa Dios (We are hoping that in our preparation, we should not forget that this (event) is God’s handiwork),” said Gutierrez, team ministry member of St. Joseph the Work Parish in Mabolo.

This year’s National Youth Day will be celebrated under the theme, “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to Your word,” taken from the gospel of Luke (chapter 1, verse 38).

The priest said the church should face the adversities that cropped up while in the preparation stages for the event.

“Atong mga sacrifices, puasa, abstenensiya, pag-ampo ug pagtampo sa uban pang mga panginahanglanon maoy atong panagang niining mga dautan ug tampalasan (Our sacrifices, fasting, abstinence, prayers, and assistance to other needs of the church are our shield against evils and scoundrels),” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the program sent by Gutierrez to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the whole day of April 23 is devoted to welcoming pilgrims who will be arriving at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, domestic ports and some terminals in this city.

Volunteers from the host parishes in Cebu designated as “program implementation teams” will take care of the arrival, reception, and billeting of the arriving pilgrims.

The opening ceremony in the afternoon of April 24 will be held at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) along Osmeña Boulevard in this city, after which the delegates will proceed to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño for the opening mass.

The youth delegates from different archdioceses and dioceses in the country will have a first-hand experience on traditional Sinulog dance after the opening mass at the Basilica. The dance is supposed to be performed only every January’s Fiesta Señor.

After three days of talks and sharing sessions at the nine different “festival sites” in Metro Cebu, as well as visitation to parishes and community immersions, the delegates will be brought to CCSC on the 27th for vocation jamboree, grand festival night, and Eucharistic adoration.

The youth will join a dawn rosary and closing mass at the CCSC on the 28th. (PNA)

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