By Robin Gomes
The Holy See’s representative to the Philippines is encouraging young people to make the most of their talents, especially by serving those in need, and not just hiding them.
Speaking at 2nd International "YOUCAT" Congress of young Catholics, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia told delegates from around the world, “you are not just in mission, you are a mission!”
Organized by "YOUCAT" Philippines and the Archdiocese of Jaro, the event had “Arise” as its theme, taken from Luke’s Gospel (7: 11-17) where Jesus raises back to life the young son of the widow of Naim.
YouCat is a portmanteau word (combination word) for Youth Catechism, which is an adaptation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC of 1997) for the needs of adolescents and young people. Approved by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, its contents are summarized briefly and comprehensibly in a question-and-answer format.
With more than 5 million copies sold in different languages, YouCat is one of the best-selling Catholic books in the world.
Life has meaning when shared
Celebrating the inaugural Mass, the Pope’s representative reminded the more than 1,200 participants from at least 19 countries that life has meaning when given with love to others.
“It’s beautiful to be welcomed by those who have received help from us in this life and spend your talents, not hide them somewhere,” Archbishop Caccia said.
A life lived selfishly is useless, he said. On the other hand, life has value when gifts are shared with others. “What happens to the talents that the Lord has given us? Do we store them safely somewhere without multiplying them?” he asked.
The 4-day event aimed at exploring new ways of the new evangelization.
Archbishop Caccia also stressed that their Christian mission is “an instrument of the grace of God.” “He called us as He called His apostles,” he said. “To enter into heaven, we need the help of the poor. Don’t lose the occasions to give, don’t lose the occasions to share.”
The Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) endorsed the congress as part of its many initiatives for the “2019 Year of the Youth”, which is being celebrated as part of a 9-year preparation for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines (1521-2021).
The YouCat movement in the Philippines assists parishes in creating and developing resources and materials for evangelization, creating networks and collaboration, also with the tools of new technologies.