An Encounter with Young People in the Philippines

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An Encounter with Young People in the Philippines
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The Filipino youth is one of the most dynamic sectors of the society. According to National Youth Commission (2017) Youth Projected Population they comprise almost 30% of the Philippine population. By mere observation, people can see that the youth today are interested in technology-based activity, going to the malls, talking with friends and a lot more.

The Queen of Angels Monastery, last September 17, 2017 open their gates to some 66 youths from Bulacan and Manila to engage with them and learn what would make the church closer to them. This meeting with the youth was initiated by the nuns in response to the Invitation of Master Rev. Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P. to all Dominicans to engage in the preparatory dynamic of the Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis scheduled for Oct. 2018 with the theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

The encounter started with the singing of “Welcome to the Family” and Invocation led by our Dominican Sister, Sr. Hilary Marie, OP. Sr. Mary Lourdes, OP, Prioress of the monastery welcomes the young people to the activity while Sr. Mary Emmanuelle, OP presented the purpose of the gathering. What was fascinating and touching moment in the encounter was when the nuns of the Queen of Angels Monastery introduced themselves one by one to the participants which was responded to by the young people by doing the same. It was indeed an unforgettable moment!

Ms. Baby Bernadette M. Fernando from the National Youth Commission facilitated the program dynamics.

Games was facilitated to break the ice so that these young people will know other youth. An important part of the encounter was to know the youth’s point of view on how to make the church closer to them. Several questions were given which they willingly and admirably answered through the individual questionnaire given to them and through the group workshop they did. Responses of the young people vary. They see that creation of activities such as dance and song gathering would make them engage more with the church. Some also responded to by identifying actual tasks that they can do during mass. While some also identified reach out programs would be an interesting activity and could spice up their interest in joining church activities. However, among the many and varied responses of the youth, the one that stands out was the use of social media. They see the use of Facebook and other social media platforms as a powerful tool in spreading the good news of the Lord and as means of engaging the young people.

The sharing and testimonies of young people through Brother Benjamin Rodil representing the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM) and Brother Rafael Luis Lopez from the Dominican Network Youth(DOMNET) made these young people realize that they too can engage and be active members of the church. Short film showing of the life of Blessed Pierre Giorgio Frassati and the Dominican Family give them a glimpse of how people in the Dominican order live a happy life through service to the Lord.

The youth was able to see firsthand and get a glimpse of the life of the nuns with the Rosary pilgrimage tour of the Convent.

The perfect day ended with the perfect celebration of the Holy Mass with Rev. Fr. Ivan Obando, OP.

Indeed, the day was filled with various activity that made the Encounter with the Young People an event to remember.

Dominican Nuns - Bocaue, Philippines

(October 6, 2017)