One of the ways in which the World Youth Day celebrations have contributed to the Church is the formative environment it has created for the youth. In August 2005, the World Youth Day will once more be celebrated in Cologne, Germany. Many of those who’d want to go there will be looking forward to seeing new sights, meeting new friends or simply to just be there and talk to their friends back home about what it was like. I don’t know whether our youth are prepared mentally and spiritually to undertake a the spiritual journey which is World Youth Day — Cologne. It is this mental and spiritual preparation which should be the priority of any youth Christian formation program because the fruits of such a preparation would be valuable independently of whether the Cologne event would push through or not.
When Manila hosted World Youth Day 1995, our students from Iloilo underwent a formation program for several months prior to the event itself. When they got back from Manila, all they could remember were the long walks, the difficulty of sleeping at night and the experience of huddling on their behinds to listen to long boring lecture about the faith. In fact, the post-WYD 1995 scenario was bereft of any movement that one can identify as being a fruit of the World Youth Day. One of the questions asked me about WYD then was: after the Manila event, what ?
This evening I received flyers for the WYD 2005. I am supposed to post them on the parish bulletin board so that those who may be interested would sign up and be part of it. The person who gave me the flyers works in a tourist agency. She insisted that I call her if the parish would intend to send some representatives. For that lady, the WYD 2005 is a source of income for their agency. There is nothing spiritual about it, just work… paid work. And there will be moneyed teenagers and young professionals who would like to join the trip to Cologne … and they’d be going there not as spiritual pilgrims but as tourists who would like to have some fun. And the sad thing is, the priests and religious who will be joining them are in more for the tourism bit and not really for the discovery of Christ among the youth.
Originally posted 2005-01-22 20:46:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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