Every second Saturday of each month, the Blessed John Paul the Great Youth Mission Group gather together to do missionary works in the barrio of San Celestino. Joining the seminarians who are already working there, they go for home visitation in the morning and assist in the children’s oratory in the afternoon. This is the youth’s simple way of fulfilling their personal commitment for mission.
Last month’s second Saturday was cancelled due to Typhoon Hainan. The group then continued the mission the next week, November 23, 2013. It was another special and unique mission day: the group climbed the foot of a mountain to visit the local community there. It was a thrilling adventure: we made our way up to the base of the mountain, which is not very hard but has the ‘adventurous’ feel with it. The people of the community dedicated themselves to the patronage of Sta. Rita and they built a simple chapel in her honor. Once a year, a Mass is celebrated in their chapel. On other Sundays, they walk down to the centro to attend Mass (which is only on second Sundays) or to the parish church, some few kilometers away.
We were rewarded by the beautiful view of the mountain and the generosity of the local folks. We proceeded to visit the houses, which we pray will bear fruits. Entering their houses made of bamboo, we were welcomed with big smiles and hospitable treatment, and later on treating us for a special lunch. They killed a chicken, and made a stew added with papayas planted in their garden. For dessert, we tasted home grown bananas.
In the afternoon, we visited the elementary school to introduce ourselves and invite them for the children’s oratory. The teachers and the students welcomed us wholeheartedly. At the end of the day, we were all drained but spiritually uplifted. All of us are still looking forward for more missions, to bring the Gospel of Christ to every home. And here we conclude with the paternal words of our Holy Father Francis in his new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium:
We should recognize that despite the present crisis of commitment and communal relationships, many young people are making common cause before the problems of our world and are taking up various forms of activism and volunteer work. Some take part in the life of the Church as members of service groups and various missionary initiatives in their own dioceses and in other places. How beautiful it is to see that young people are “street preachers” (callejeros de la fe), joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth! (EG,106)