As thousands of Youth from all over the world gathered in Poland for the much-awaited World Youth Day (WYD) Vigil and Closing Mass, an equally exuberant army of faithful young people from the Diocese of Novaliches and the Diocese of Cubao flocked to the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City last June 30, 2016 for the local celebrations of WYD Krakow 2016 entitled, “#KraCUBAO“.
Almost 700 delegates from the eleven Vicariates of the Diocese of Novaliches and the three Vicariates of the Diocese of Cubao assembled at the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy for #KraCUBAO’s registration. A Holy Mass presided by Lord of Divine Mercy’s Parish Priest Fr. Steven ZabalaSteven ZabalaSteven Zabala officially began the festivities.
The pilgrims then joyfully paraded their colorful shirts, banners, and flags from the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy to the Holy Family Parish in Kamias, Q.C. A mimicking of WYD’s “Pilgrim Walk”, the short but heartwarming stroll was a moment filled with hope, prayers and praises. Joining the Youth in the parade were the images of Inang Desay (Mary Undoer of Knots) from the Diocese of Novaliches and of the Divine Mercy, of Sister Faustina, and of St. John Paul The Great (John Paul II) from the Diocese of Cubao.
Shedding tears of joy through this special moment in their lives, the delegates arrived at the Holy Family Parish prepared for #KraCUBAO’s main event. There was the breathtaking Praise and Worship opening salvo before the delegates broke out into smaller groups for the Catechesis Sessions–another mimicking of the WYD experience.
Love. Mercy. Compassion. These were the underpinning messages heard by the Youth from select speakers who talked about human trafficking, chastity, vocation discernment, and prayer. Organizers, headed by the Diocese of Cubao’s Ministry of Youth Affairs Team from the Vicariate of St. Joseph, made sure that the Youth will not only have joy in their hearts when they return home but also have a stronger Faith in God.
As such, topics for the Catechism Sessions were, “Naniniwala Ka Ba Sa Forever?” (Chastity) by the Live Pure Movement, “Bata, Bata, Bakit Mo ‘Yan Ginawa?” (Human Trafficking) by Jermer Cruz, “Tara Usap Tayo! Divine Conversation.” (Prayer / Taize) by Bro. Allan Robinson, and “Baby You’re My Destiny” (Vocations Discernment) by a variety of speakers.
After the breakout session, the Youth gathered once more for a special talk given by then-Diocese of Novaliches Seminarian and now-turned celebrity Michael Angelo Lobrin on the role of the Youth in Society today.
A Holy Mass concelebrated by Diocese of Novaliches’ Kristong Hari Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Roland Jaluag and Diocese of Cubao’s Our Lady of Pentecost Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Dennis Soriano was held prior to the Closing Program that lasted until the wee hours of the night.
Lead by the Diocese of Novaliches Commission on Youth (COY Nova)’s Marlyn Cababay, the Novaliches strong delegation of 540 Youth journeyed back to their respective parishes amazed by how Faith can bind people despite boundaries and inspired to achieve greater heights for the Glory of the Lord.
World Youth Day began a year after then Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul the Great) held an International Jubilee of Youth on the Palm Sunday of 1984 to attest to the World that the Youth still follow in the steps of Christ. It was in that Jubilee of the Youth that the Pope entrusted to the Youth the Cross of the Holy Year–thereby initiating the tradition of the Youth Cross in every World Youth Day Gathering.
Officially instituted as an activity of the Universal Church on March 23, 1986, also a Palm Sunday, WYD was to be held every year locally or in each Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church and every two-three years internationally. Also in part of tradition, the Pope announces the next venue for WYD on the Closing Mass of the present WYD Celebration. This year’s international celebration was held in Krakow, Poland with the next one to be held in Panama on 2019. (~Minnie De Luna with Cristy Linga, MC Paloma, and Chris Segundo)