Young Filipino Catholics are called to become “true witnesses” of the faith by sharing their energy and service to the Church.
In his message during the celebration of the Diocesan Youth Day in Cubao on December 7, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco stressed the role of young people in the life of the Church.
“The challenge to our youth is we have a lot of energy,” said the prelate. “Hopefully, we use that energy to grow our faith to be able to inspire other people.”
“My dear young people, you are the hope of the Church, the hope of our diocese. Hopefully you respond,” Bishop Ongtioco told the online gathering.
Only members of the Diocesan Ministry of Youth Affairs were present during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which was streamed live online, due to prevailing health restrictions.
The bishop called on the youth to draw inspiration from Blessed Carlo Acutis, who used the internet to spread his faith.
The Italian teenager, who died of leukaemia in 2006 at the age of 15 years old, has already been dubbed “the patron saint of the internet.”
“As young people, you have much to share,” said Bishop Ongtioco said. “You can make a difference”.
As the Mass was held on the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, he also urged the young people to imitate the Virgin Mary by abandoning themselves to God.
The bishop cited the Blessed Mother’s virtue of “single-mindedness.”
He said it is important to have this virtue because it also reflects one’s strong beliefs and convictions and, in turn, affects how we influence others.
“Be like Mary who is vigilant,” he said. “Mary was single-minded in following the will of God”.
Due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s diocesan youth celebrations are held online until December 12 through the diocese’s Ministry of Youth Affairs Facebook page.
The virtual celebrations feature talks and testimonies on the theme “Arise! Young Man I Say to You Arise,” which was from Pope Francis’ message for the 35th World Youth Day this year.