by Madel Asuncion
photos by Tin Aquino
PASIG CITY - The Diocese of Pasig successfully hosted the 5th Regional Vocation Festival in St. Paul College Pasig (SPCP), Brgy. Ugong last November 10, 2012.
With the initiative of the Directors of Vocations in the Philippines – National Capital Region (DVP-NCR), the whole day event which was themed “I Am for Christ” has inspired about 3,000 young delegates from the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila to rediscover their faith and listen closely to His calling.
The event primarily aims to encourage vocations to priesthood and consecrated life among the youth in the metropolitan area. The call of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for Renewed Evangelization and Integral Faith Formation has also instigated the festival.
Flocks of young individuals together with over 400 vocation promoters and animators from 79 religious congregations started convening in the SPCP Complex early Sa-turday morning. The enthused participants were broken into groups and were instruc-ted to pass through 5 breakthrough circles, each manifesting an important event in Christ’s life. These in particular were the Lord’s nativity, His public ministry, the calling of the twelve disciples, His passion and His resurrection, which were creatively presented through dramatizations, pantomimes and interactive segments. In the spirit of the Year of Faith, the organizers hoped to preserve the young’s devotion to Christ by revisiting His journey in the said activity. Fr. Jhun Sanchez, the regional vocation director of NCR, emphasized this goal in a press conference held that afternoon. “The activity wherein they were broken into groups or circles was for our young people to open the door of faith, and for them to be able to look at the meaning or to situate themselves on the real meaning of vocation,” Sanchez said as cited by CBCP News.
With the challenges presented by the digitally driven world today, the Church has been dedicated in forging a righteous path for young Catholics. In line with this, the organizers believe that technology if used responsibly can be an effective means of evangelization.
In the later part of the festival, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D., Bishop of Pasig and Chairman of CBCP’s Commission on Seminaries, shared the “Gospel of the Five Fingers” as devised by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It consisted of five words from Matthew 25: “You did it to Me.” This referred to Jesus’ teaching, “Whatever you do to the least of My brothers, you do unto Me.” This means that we are called to serve our neighbors, because it is also Jesus whom we glorify by doing such. Moreover, Bishop Vergara asked the youth to set St. Pedro Calungsod – who responded to his calling and proved his enduring love for Christ at the tender age of 17 – as a model of faith.
The festival also saw the launch of the First Vocation Mass Audio-CD which was produced by the Diocese of Pasig through the Commission on Vocation. Distributed by Paulines Audiovisuals, the 19-track album contained “songs for the Mass for the increase of Priestly and Religious Vocation based from the Third Edition of the Roman Missal”. The closing track, “I Am for Christ” was the festival’s theme song. Most of the songs were performed by Levitecoro, a chorale hailing from Sta. Martha Parish under the Diocese of Pasig, and Fr. Jhun Sanchez. Other singers include Fr. Lito Jopson, Fr. Ronnie Samaniego, Fr. Orlin Ordona and Mr. Manuel Makinano.
After a long but certainly fruitful day, the event concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Bishop Vergara. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the participants were left with the challenge to offer themselves to the Lord and ultimately declare “I Am for Christ!”
The DVP-NCR’s efforts to bring young Filipinos closer to divinity have truly paid off. The coordinators who have put their hard work in the festival are as follows: Fr. Jhun Sanchez – Pasig, DVP-NCR Regional Coordinator, Fr. Jason Laguerta – Manila, Fr. Alex Amandy – Kalookan, Fr. Jeffrey Santos – Antipolo, Fr. Joseph Landero – Parañaque, Fr. Gilbert Dumlao – Cubao, Fr. Joel Buenviaje – Novaliches, and Fr. Pablo de Guzman – MOP.
The organizers’ sincerest gratitude goes to Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara for his exceeding support, as well as to Sr. Dedicacion Rosario SPC, St. Paul College Pasig School Directress, for warmly accommodating the event. /dpoc20130106
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