DUMAGUETE PRELATE TELLS YOUTH TO RISE ABOVE CHALLENGES
‘YEAR OF THE YOUTH’. Young people perform a number during the launching of the “Year of the Youth” in the Diocese of Dumaguete, Nov. 8, 2018. (Photo by Judaline F. Partlow)
DUMAGUETE CITY – Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete called on the youth to use their exuberance and rise above the challenges that the Catholic Church and the country are facing today.
Bishop Cortes led the concelebrated mass on Thursday to launch the “Year of the Youth” and to officially end the “Year of the Clergy and Religious”.
“Today then, in this Eucharist, as we start this Year of the Youth, let us pray, as one Philippine Church looking forward to 500 years of evangelization, for a retrieval of youthfulness in our efforts to proclaim, express, and spread our faith.”
In his homily, he cited the examples of the lives of saints like Francis of Assisi, Pedro Calungsod, and Therese of the Child Jesus, among others, who had their conversions and missions at an early age.
Even Jesus died at an early age of 33, just a few years after starting his public ministry, he pointed out.
According to the prelate, while the Church “is getting old” along with many problems it is confronted with, there is a need for “a retrieval of youthfulness from these consecrated persons… so we can wake up the world”.
“Much that we know about our global Church today is due to the self-sacrifice of men and women religious who volunteered to go on foreign missions,” he said.
Bishop Cortes cited problems like the looming local and national elections, where he hinted at seeing the same faces, apparently referring to long-time politicians seeking reelection or political dynasty.
“Old, old faces of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters who have served us a long, long, time ago,” Cortes said.
“And come campaign time, they will tell us that with them in office, we shall see a new Philippines, a better Philippines, a progressive Philippines,” the Dumaguete prelate added.
Another problem that he cited is the “continuing killing of persons linked to drugs, (and) a good number of them are young people. And so, in exasperation, we say, so what else is new?”
Likewise, Bishop Cortes spoke of what he described as “the never-ending attacks on the Church as ‘shameless, hypocrites, drunkards’ and other colorful descriptions.” With all these challenges, who will not get old, he asked.
In ending, he told the youth of the diocese to “infect the Church with your youthfulness, and with your youthful enthusiasm, attract others in your movements and in your organizations.”
Cortes assured the youth that the Church is there to nurture their faith and their dreams, to listen and accompany them in their journey and to find new paths in reaching out to others.
“My dear people of God, let us walk together to build a more responsive and more embracing Church in the Philippines,” he appealed, not just to the youth but to others in the jam-packed Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria here. (PNA)