The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has declared the year 2019 as the Year of the Youth with the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Geed, Empowered” as a part of the celebration as the 500th Year of Christianity in the Philippines this coming 2021. The 12-month celebration was opened last December 2, 2018, which was the Sunday of Advent and will end on November 24, 2019, which is the feast of Christ the King.
Starting last 2013, the bishop’s conference made a nine-year journey in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines by having a different theme each year. The themes for the past years are dedicated to integral faith formation (2013), the Laity (2014), the Poor (2015), The Eucharist and Family (2016), Parish as a Communion of Communities (2017), Clergy (2018)and year 2019 is dedicated for the Youth. The activities for this year focused on youth information, youth communities, churches and society, youth in the mission, and youth ministry and youth ministers.
In an excerpt from the pastoral letter of the CBCP, His Excellency, Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, DD (CBCP President), addressed that the youth are beloved, gifted, empowered and are in a mission to help spread the word of God.
The logo for this year features the figure of a person holding a cross, a dove and a hand which also looks like a footprint. According to the CBCP Online, the human figure stands for the young people conformed to Christ which represented by the cross. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, the hand signifies how young people are loved by the Father and what looks like a footprint means making a mark in doing a movement with purpose.
As the youth in today’s generation, we are chosen to be the new messengers of God thus we are called to take in the good news in our lives so we can help spread it to everyone.
(Mary Grace Jaranilla – Blue Sash Correspondent)