The year ahead will be characterized by the Catholic Church’s special attention on young people.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will dedicate 2019 as the Year of the Youth — a part of its “nine-year journey for the new evangelization”.
The occasion will officially open this year on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, and will close on Nov. 24, 2019, the feast of Christ the King.
The year-long celebration will reflect on the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered”.
Activities both in the national and diocesan levels are aimed on at least four objectives: youth in formation, youth in community, Church and society, youth in mission, and youth ministry and youth ministers.
“The Year of the Youth is indeed a journey of encounter with Jesus, accompanied by Mary, the Star of the New Evangelization,” the CBCP Commission on Youth said in a statement.
“In this journey, we tell the story of the Filipino youth with our Risen Lord; we, young Filipinos and Filipinas, listen to Jesus, the Youth Minister par excellence and, as we are blessed and gifted during this journey, we are empowered to witness to and share our faith,” it added.
In 2013, the CBCP had launched a 9-year journey to 2021, the 5th centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, with a different theme each year.
The last five years were dedicated to the integral faith formation (2013), the laity (2014), the poor (2015), the Eucharist and the family (2016), and the parish as a communion of communities (2017). 2018 is dedicated to the clergy and consecrated persons.
The remaining two years of the preparation will be dedicated to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue in 2020 and missio ad gentes in 2021.
“We look forward with gratitude and joy to March 16, 2021, the fifth centenary of the coming of Christianity to our beloved land,” the CBCP said in a 2012 pastoral letter. (CBCP News)