Since January 2013, our Institute in the Philippines organizes the annual IVE Youth Day. The IVE Youth Day offers sacraments, formation and Christian joy to the young people. The Youth Day gives the youth the opportunity to share with other young people their experiences, encouraging each other along the way of faith and life, learning more about their faith and culture. These are done through different activities: Some of our priests and various guest speakers give talks which are centralized on important themes for the human and Christian formation of the participants. Various workshops are also offered to the youth. We then gather for a great feast, decorated with various cultural and musical performances, ending with a comedy skit which is meticulously prepared by the members of our Religious Family.
At the end of the day, we proceed in procession with the Blessed Virgin Mary to the chapel for a Holy Hour, and the whole day concludes with the Holy Mass.
We pray that through this activity, the young people may realize that they are bearers of hope, protagonists of the future, artisans of the future, as Pope Francis would say, through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the world.
Each May, our Religious Family in the Philippines gather together in the Our Lady of Lujan Quasi-Parish, Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City, to join in the parochial activity of the Holy Mission. It is a one week intensive mission within the parochial territories , with each day divided into various themes. In the morning, we conduct house visits, bringing the Good News to every family, inquiring of their needs, especially with the sacraments. In recent years, we have been discovering more and more the need for the old people to receive the Anointing of the Sick. In the afternoon, the children and the youth are gathered for festive oratories and in the evening, talks on controversial topics and doctrines are given right before the celebration of Holy Mass. After Holy Mass, people are gathered in front of the parish for the performances prepared by the members of our Institute: cultural presentations and of course, comedy skits. The Holy Mission concludes with the feast of Our Lady of Lujan, which is celebrated in the parish every Second Sunday of May.
We must not complain about how the youth are behaving nowadays, if we have not been able to give them a beautiful Catholic experience when they were little infants and children. In line with this objective, we organize the Children’s Summer Camp. For some days, the children are gathered and are provided with integral training in all aspects of the child’s personality: emotion, will, intelligence, physical health and spirit. This is done through wholesome competitions, family and sporting games, arts, sciences, and work while proposing to them the highest Christian ideals.
Joy is our key, which comes from Mercy-especially through the sacraments of Eucharist and Confession, and Christian charity. Here, St. John Bosco is our model. For him, to love the children supernaturally is his system of educating the children. In the children’s camp, the little kids are provided time to do religious activities. This ensures a pious and familiar atmosphere, which will make them persevere in doing good.
Every summer, while the schools are on their break, our Institute organizes Youth Summer Camp. As Fr. Buela said, these camps our ‘school of life’, as we want to teach and entertain the youth with wholesome recreation, competitions, games while giving them good religious education through the daily Mass, prayers, and talks. Through these, the youth are led to know Jesus Christ.
We are convinced with the importance of these activities for the total human and spiritual formation of those whom we call the ‘future of the land’, and the ‘hope of the Church. The youth learn how to explore adventure: climbing the mountain peaks, swim across the lakes and cross the wild rivers. This will not only help them appreciate nature, but also their will and endurance will be formed.
Through these activities, the youth are taught to practice the virtue of charity, of camaraderie and fortitude. We want to each the youth, little by little, to act with principles and not with momentary vanities.
The principal part of the activity is the Holy Mass, from which springs all the activities of the camp. They are organized by the members of our Institute, and we ourselves share these activities with the young people.
Every Saturday, our seminarians go to various places in Lipa City where we have organized children and youth oratories. These oratories are designed to provide children a place and time to learn the Catholic faith according to the spirit of Saint Philip Neri and Saint John Bosco. Integrated with learning the Catechism of the Catholic Church are those times for various activities that are fitting with the children and youth: games, excursions, pilgrimages, etc.