At the sixth Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), the faith and spiritual life of young Filipinos took center stage in a spirited and vibrant gathering held at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentianl Pavilion last July 19 to 21.
With the Church declaring 2019 as the ‘Year of the Youth’ as part of the run-up to the 500 –year milestone of Christianity in the Philippines by 2021, this year’s edition of the PCNE followed the theme “Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus,” and warmly welcomed over 5,000 participants from various dioceses, ecclesial movements, and countries across Southeast Asia.
Manila Archbishop, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who began the PCNE back in 2013 as the local Church’s response to the call of new evangelization, opened Day 1 with an encouraging “heart to heart” talk with several young people, who then voiced out on their hopes, dreams, anxieties and pains- a common sentiment amongst the millennials and Gen Z youngsters of today.
Notable youth ministers and leaders, such as Light of Jesus Ministry founder Bo Sanchez and USA National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry Executive Director Christina Lamas, all generously shared their guiding wisdom and mentorship to the youthful crowd seeking for authentic role models of faith in the context of today’s rapidly-changing world.
As PCNE 6’s final day focused on the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered”, Cardinal Tagle underscored the importance of wholeheartedly receiving and keeping open and constant communication with the youth.
“As we urged the young people to listen to our stories, may I invite you to also welcome the stories of the young. And you will see how our stories in the hands of God are woven into the stories of God, in our families, in our lives,” he said during the closing Mass.
“Let us pass our songs, the song of our age generation, pass on the word of God through your experiences, your stories… Especially the stories that tie our generations to the next …Eat together, for when you are eating together you listen to one another, you tell stories,” reminded the Cardinal.
Another on-going project initiated by Cardinal Tagle is the “Patron of the Arts”, which celebrates the artistic talents and unique abilities of today’s youth. The joint effort by the Archdiocese of Manila and Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) featured bright up-and-coming musicians, dancers, and artists in its annual Christmas benefit concert last December 2018.
In light of the esteemed Cardinal’s praise of the Church as a haven and champion of various artistic mediums, the “Patron of the Arts” seeks to provide continuous assistance to the formations programs of the Archdiocese of Manila’s Commission on the Youth.
As the Filipino Catholic faithful commemorates the enlivening spirit of the “Year of the Youth”, financial support and kind donations are most welcome to help sustain the Archdiocese’s campus ministry programs, parish youth ministry and its many other groups and initiatives dedicated to serving the youth.