Young Filipino Catholics urged to commit to serve others under ‘new normal’

Philippine Catholic bishops this week called on young people to be open and to commit themselves in the service of others, especially under the so-called new normal due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In “A Letter to the Youth,” the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic bishops’ conference urged young Filipinos not to allow the pandemic to steal their purpose.

“Face the new normal with openness and the readiness of a servant,” the bishops urged the youth.

“We are servants of the Lord. Discover new paths, avenues, ways of serving others,” they added.

Titled “Mission for and with the Youth,” the letter was issued a week before this year’s National Youth Day celebration on Dec. 16.

Echoing Pope Francis’ message, the Filipino bishops encouraged young people to “arise” from their challenges.

“Let us contribute to uplifting the lives of others and the transformation of our communities. And let us begin by transforming our own lives,” read the bishops’ letter.

They also called on the youth to “resist falling into the cycle of blame, hate and despair,” and instead “be creative” and “take a bold step” in fulfilling their good intentions and important resolutions.

Young people, arise from sleep, laziness, boredom and indifference. Be creative! Arise from anxiety, fear and failure! Get involved!” the bishops said.

“There is something you can do. Arise from despair and helplessness. Problems, difficulties and crises are opportunities. Arise!” added the bishops’ letter.

In 1986, the Philippine Catholic bishops declared Dec. 16 of every year, the first day of the “Misa de Gallo,” as National Youth Day.

The national celebration is held in different dioceses every two or three years, with local celebrations held in the intervening years.

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