The youth ministry team of the Indico-Pacific province had organized the Hijas de Jesus Virtual Youth Formation last February 27, 2021. The said formation session, with the theme – Youth: “YOU are the NOW of GOD”, was attended by two hundred fifty (250) young people of Mo. Candida. It was an opportunity to gather them as one family to reflect and listen to the words of Pope Francis on Christus Vivit.
The formation session was participated in by the students of our schools in the Philippines namely: Manresa School, Stella Maris Academy of Davao, Sacred Heart School Hijas de Jesus, St. James Catholic High School, St. Candida School, Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion, St. Joseph School, and Colegio de las Hijas de Jesus. We also extended the invitation to our young friends from St. Candida Hostel Girls (Bangladesh) and Daren School in Taiwan.
To start the formation session, we disposed ourselves for the opening prayer. The video song prayer entitled “O, Maria aming Ina” was sung by three students from different schools; Stephanie Margaret Coquilla (Stella Maris Academy of Davao), Wina David (Manresa School), and Antoine Bernard David Cormary (Colegio de las Hijas de Jesus Iloilo City).
The young people were blessed to have a young priest, Fr. John Kein Malificiar, SSP, who belongs to the Family of St. Candida being an alumnus of St. James Catholic High School, Maasin Iloilo. He has been in the priesthood ministry for 7 years from the Society of St. Paul. Fr. John Klein touched the hearts of these young people with his talk that centered on the three virtues: the virtues of GRATITUDE, PATIENCE, and LOVE. According to him, we need to develop or nurture these virtues in order for us to remain forever young in spirit.
Fr. JK challenged the youth not to remain focused on themselves but instead they must go out, not to be bystanders but to get involved and be of help to someone. Pope Francis describes the youth as the Now of God. God wants young people to bear fruit because they are gifted and talented. They were challenged to give and share, for it is in giving that they also receive. they were encouraged to live the present with commitment and generosity. To spread kindness and learn to be compassionate.
According to Fr. JK, Pope Francis has a beautiful advice as regards to expressing compassion. He said: “You should learn how to weep for all those young people who are less fortunate than yourselves.. Weeping is also an expression of mercy and Compassion. Once you can weep, then you will be able to help others from the heart”.
After the talk, we gave the young people time to ask questions, share their insights and takeaways from the talk of Fr. JK. Each school had its representative to give reactions about the talk of Fr. JK.
To give more time to young people to reflect and share their feelings and insights on the talk, they were divided into schools for group sharing together with their assigned ministers. They were given one (1) hour for the said activity. A plenary assembly followed where the ten assigned students shared their reflections on the words that resonated in them during the talk.
Sr. Emelinda C. Falsis, FI Provincial Superior of Indico Pacific Province gave her inspirational message to the young people focusing on five lessons such as: (a.) Your choices determine who you become, (b.) forgiveness heals, (c.) kindness begets kindness, (d.) money cannot buy happiness and (e.) love requires sacrifices.
We ended our session with a virtual offering of flowers by the selected participants in honor of our Mother Mary, the star and guide on our way.