Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
Do everything in Love
Verbum Dei Youth Reality Valentine’s Day Special
Love has different meanings. It can mean something more than that typical relationship of a man and a woman, and we often see this month of love as a celebration only for those who have partners in life. However, we believe in a love that is everlasting. A love that never ages or grows old.
This lead the group of young people from Verbum Dei Cebu to organize a special way of celebrating Valentine’s Day last February 15, 2020. Spearheaded by our youth adviser, Sr. Charisma Sulbise, we went to the houses of our dear grandmothers, and widowed and single mothers, to serenade them with love songs from their time, and even some modern love songs. We also made a short program wherein we gave them roses with the word of God attached, a heart shaped balloon, a small gift, sweet lovely cards and had a moment of prayer with them and for them. To spice up the serenade, we had a surprise game where they were asked to pick a rolled paper, and do or answer whatever is written on it. Some of them danced the Tala Challenge, shared their love story, sang with us, shared their first crush and many more.
It was indeed a special moment among us of sharing the love that Christ has given us first. Personally, I am in awe of how God has planned out everything. Sometimes, when we really are challenged, that is when God makes you see His works. Love is alive. Love will live. Love prevails among fear. Love is more than we thought it would be. It was a memorable and priceless experience for me. Everything was worth the time and effort spent in the preparations. This experience made this passage from 1 Corinthians 16:14 came alive for me: “Do everything in love.”
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to KP Artajo and the WordNews team
Awoken Youth Stars (January 5, 2020)
Youth from different communities were gathered last January 5 for a new year bonding activity conducted by Verbum Dei Missionary Family at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife in Quezon City with the theme #Woke2020. The whole day was filled with events that made everyone connected to one another and God.
The day started with a game that allowed everybody to get to know other youth. After this, Christel Mendoza shared powerful guidelines about being alive with the guidance of God. She emphasized that each one of us should not only exist in this world, but also live, for ourselves and for other people. To inspire, the youth were formed into five groups for the sharing of reflection.
Following this, the amazing race started with the same group in the sharing. The race was conducted in the whole area of the park. The main instruction was to look for the station indicated in each clue and do the task given. The group with the highest accumulated points was declared as winner. Every station released the groups’ skills and camaraderie.
As the race concluded, various awards were given such as best in Bible verses, leadership, best in hakot, and the overall winner. Before the day ends, Fr. Bong led the celebration of Mass and emphasized that each one of us can be a guiding star to one another.
The bonding activity ended with the hope that each participant will be a star and help other people, guiding them towards God.
With thanks to Justine Clare and the WordNews team
On the third day of November 2019, the Pansol Youth Verbum Dei conducted their second mission trip at San Agustin Church, Intramuros Manila with the collaboration of the Missionaries of Charity. The 13 youth facilitators, headed by Kuya Bong, facilitated 125 participants, aged 12-23 years old, from Antipolo City and different areas of Tondo, Manila.
Both the facilitators and the participants gained a fruitful experience from the talks of Ate Elaine about love for life, and Kuya Bong about conversion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was explained thoroughly by Kuya Bong at his homily, he stated that “if you reconcile your sins to God. He will forget and forgive you, you just need to accept that we are sinners and forgive ourselves for being weak”.
Little by little we the Pansol youth are really getting a taste for mission to other youth!
Here are some photos of the event:
The “Apo ni Jaime” (Verbum Dei Youth) accepted the challenge of Pope Francis to take part in the mission. Acting on his words, “Each of us is a mission to the world” (Pope Francis, World Mission Day message 2019), the youth of Pansol took part in giving a recollection to other young people.
Last October 20, 2019, which was World Mission Sunday, the Pansol youth along with one adult from our apostolate in Christ the King School of the Word, handled an activity for around 130 participants, all young people of the Missionaries of Charity, from different communities such as Antipolo, Navotas, and Tayuman. They were aged 10 yrs old to 22 years old. It was held at Alagad de Maria, Antipolo, Rizal. It was an extra special moment of mission as it was the very first mission handled by the youth of Pansol, helped by the misionero Bong, with the presence of Ismael the General Responsible of the misioneros.
It was a great experience for both the participants and the organizers.It began with “Song/Animation,” then “Opening remarks” from Gabs to break the ice. This was followed by a talk entitled “Your Life is for Loving” that provoked a lot of fruit in the young listeners, especially encouraging them to love others. Thereafter was “Share ko lang” where the youth shared their personal experience/understanding of loving. When they were expressing their different experiences about the talk the facilitators were overwhelmed, because they never thought that the participants will be so open and trusting in their sharing.
Workshops were also held on “Time Management and Decision Making” by Tito Johnny of CTK School of the Word. This was followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Rosary of the Word, with a testimony from Thea. The day closed with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided by Fr. Bong, concelebrated with Fr. Ismael, with a heart-warming message of “never to lose the fire of mission in your heart.”
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Gabriel Lanada, Mikaela Badilla and the WordNews team
MUSIC FESTIVAL: “Ikaw, Ako, Mag-awitan Tayo"
Verbum Dei-Tagaytay Teens/Youth Project
The Sunday was a joyful and heart-warming September morning despite the cold and rainy weather! The rains did not dampen the spirit and excitement of the Verbum Dei-Tagaytay Teens and Youth group with the collaboration of the Adult Single and Married couples, as well as the VD-Tagaytay Missionaries. Everyone played a role in bringing delightful music, dancing, skit/role-playing and even a touching couple’s life experience and testimony to the audience.
The talents exhibited by the Teens and Youth group did not only show their heartfelt cooperation and unity, but also inspired the community to draw closer to God, to one another and to bring joy to everyone. Their opening song said it all, as they sang, “Young Man, Get Up.” It displayed their resolve to get up, amidst life’s challenges. It also expressed their hopes and dreams for a brighter future, with God as their inspiration and guide.
Some revealed their hidden skills and talents in surprising ways – a young boy, Russel who has not reached his teen years yet, showed his talent in singing and dancing to the delight of the crowd. In addition, there was also Jacob, an 11-year-old child with special needs who became a channel of peace to his family’s reconciliation and harmony; he also displayed his talent by “singing in tune” a praise song to the Lord!
For their part, the Adult Single and Married couples gathered together to sing a song of praise and thanksgiving to God who has always been present in their life’s journey through thick or thin.
Finally, the VD-Tagaytay Missionaries delighted the audience with a Spanish song that spoke about how an awesome God can make a difference in our lives. By being with Him and in Him, man’s journey becomes less difficult and contributes to his own growth.
The day was truly delightful and beautiful! To cap it, all participants, including the audience were treated to free snacks and lunch courtesy of Ms. Kathy who opted to celebrate her birthday during the Music Festival.
Yes, Lord, we will continue to sing praises and thanksgiving to You, for as St. Augustine said, “singing is twice praying.” Amen.
Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus
The University of Santo Thomas Quadricentennial Pavilion Arena was filled with youthful energy as they celebrated the annual Philippine Conference on New Evangelization VI (PCNE), a four day (July 18 Thursday – July 21 Sunday) gathering of the People of God of the Archdiocese of Manila and from other local churches and ecclesial movements. The Verbum Dei Youth of Pansol or “Apo ni Jaime” (“Grandchildren of Jaime”) as they call themselves were graced with the opportunity to participate in the said event. Its objective this year was to give special focus on the youth, to celebrate and thank God for the gift of youth, to walk with youth, to listen to them, and to give the youth the opportunity to be the protagonists of the new evangelization, among themselves and with those who are in their peripheries. Hence its theme: "Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus"
The said event started on Thursday exclusively for the clergy and consecrated people with the intention of recognizing the youth of today. Friday, July 19, focused on The World of New Generation and was the actual start for the participation of the youth and the youth at heart. Starting the day with the celebration of the Eucharist the Filipino way or Misa ng Bayang Pilipino with the theme: "Jesus walked with them" (Luke 24: 15) and a Marian Procession of the Our Lady of Piat, all presided by Most Rev. Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, Bishop of Daet, and giving everyone a powerful note that "To love is not only to say 'I love you' but also to say 'I will accompany you'".
Then followed welcoming remarks by Fr. Jason H. Laguerta, PCNE Director and a Heart to Heart conversation with Cardinal Tagle, that aimed to listen to the joys and pains of the young people living in the lime light of showbiz and the marginalized people of our society. Together with Austin M. D. Quick, an internationally acclaimed Catholic speaker, and Bro. Bo Sanchez, founder of The Light of Jesus Community and The Feast. Followed by a Walk the Talk: addressing the Global Concerns of the Young People with speakers: Macy Lee, founder of Talang Dalisay, Richy Orozco, founder of Catholic Connect, Joseph Cao Huu Minh Tri, of the Commission on Youth in the Archdiocese of Saigon Ho Chi Minh City, and Stacy Indrawan, of the Youth Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia.
Then an Evening Prayer presided by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo with the theme: "Stay with us... the day is almost over" (Luke 24: 29) to end the session. Then Saturday, July 20, with its theme: "Discerning: A Listening and Accompanying Church" focused on the relationship between the Mentor and the Mentee. It started with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Most. Rev. Leopoldo C. Jaucian SVD, Bishop of Bangued, with its theme: "Their Eyes Were Opened" from Luke 24:31, where he told everyone with conviction that 'the Young People are the Treasure, Light, and the Power of the church!' and invited them to 'Be like Mary in discerning the will of God in our lives'. This was followed by 'A Listening and Accompanying Church', hosted by Fr. Jade Licauan and Sr. Helen Palacay FMIJ, a talk show segment which aims to listen to the experience of the youth ministers and their youth disciples and explore the best practices of youth ministry in different contexts. With Benedict Sanchez, son of Bo Sanchez, Bro. Audee Villaraza, Sr. Maria Anunciata Sta. Ana, Dr. Raul Sunico, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and Cory Villafania, and their son John Mari Francis Villafania as their guest panels. Then followed by a talk about: the Importance of Kindness in the world of today by Serge Gabriel, a spoken word poet, A testimony from Michael Shimamoto by sharing his stories of hope and faith through music, and an impromptu song composition by Fr. Manoling Francisco and Toto Sorioso with the help of asking lyrics from the audience. Then a concurrent session about the New Trends in Youth Ministry by Christina Lamas, where she talked about 'learning the language of the youth', their needs and interests as part of the catholic church, and what we can learn from them. And an Evening Prayer to end the session with the theme: "Were not our hearts burning?" From Luke 24: 32 presided by the Cardinal himself, Luis Antonio Tagle, where he invited everyone to change roles by "treating each other as persons that can be a mentor and mentored." Then Sunday, July 21, the last day of the congress with its theme: The Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered. The atmosphere of arena was filled with love and music as they sing their hearts out to God by starting the session with Praise and Worship, followed by a 1-hour drama presentation of Genesis to Jesus, A Musical Narrative of Darkness and Light concert, Live testimonial videos of the Youth and A Holy Mass with commissioning of Missionary Disciples with the theme: "They set out at once" from Luke 24: 33 presided again by Cardinal Tagle, where he invites everyone in his homily to 'pass on our song'.. "Let us pass on the Word of God through our stories. Let us dine together and tell our stories. Especially the stories that tie our generations to the next." - Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
Overall it was a wonderful youth filled and life filled event!
With thanks to Gabs (Gabriel Cinco Lanada) and the WordNews team
A leadership camp for the youth with the theme “Empowered” was conducted by the Verbum Dei Missionary Family, at the Center of Evangelization in Tagaytay City, last June 6-9. Each day was filled with activities like formations, prayer guidelines, Holy mass, games, movie screening, and star gazing.
Everyone was welcomed by a session from Joy stating the necessity of healthy self-esteem. Following this, Youth Camp Olympics started with the pledge of sportsmanship led by Fr. Bong. Each day, games like trust fall, blindfold guide, centipede walk, and acid river were played to strengthen everyone’s skills.
Next day started with Carmela’s guidelines about God’s communication to all of us, in every way. Then, Sr. Cecilia gave a formation which focused on the importance of listening and dialogue in our relationship with God. This was followed by Fr. Iwao’s formation that emphasizes traits as Good Shepherd.
The third day began with the reminder of loving despite the pain from Christel followed by Sr. Cecilia’s formation about conflict management. After that it was Abel’s guideline that left a question, “Who’s your mission?” Then everyone formed into groups for a workshop about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, Sr. Adriana conducted a formation about the evangelization of digital natives that left a question, “Am I being truthful in what I share?”
The camp ended with the hope that the youth who experienced these will lead and spread the Word of God now and in the future. After all, youth are the hope of our motherland and our God. And we are called to be fully alive. Pope Francis said the words “I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!” (Christus vivit, no. 1)
With thanks from the WordNews team
Called and Chosen
Last May 19, 2019 was an important day for the Pansol, Quezon City Youth Group because it was the day of the Youth Election.
Before the election began Fr. Bong Guinoo gave us some guidelines of prayer to help the participants in choosing the next leader that will be elected. He said that a leader must be someone who follows the example of Jesus. He shared also about Saint Peter and how he was chosen as the first leader of the Catholic Church.
There was a short sharing after the time of prayer, and immediately after that the voting began. After the counting of votes, it was Gab Lanada who was elected as the new Head of the Pansol, Quezon City Youth Group.
Here are the Official Core Members of Verbum Dei Pansol Youth Group:
The Core Group already had planning afterwards about the activities for the second quarter of the year.
Congratulations Gab! We wish you the best in your new mission as the Pansol Youth Head.
We make our prayer like the psalmist “Grant success to the work of our hands Lord, grant success to the work of our hands” (Psalm 90). And may our work help many youth and bear much fruit in the lives of many young people!
With thanks to Francis Santos and the WordNews team
Last April 7, 2019, a youth recollection entitled “I Choose You” was held at the Verbum Dei Apostolate Center in Brgy. Palatiw, Pasig. The event, organized and facilitated by VD missionaries and disciples, aimed to nourish the youth with the Lord’s love and mercy amidst the different realities and difficulties they face daily. A total of 39 participants attended the activity, most of which were first timers.
The program started with an ice breaker and animation song, followed by a short skit and welcome talk by Pamela Matienzo, a Verbum Dei disciple. Pam encouraged the participants to have the right attitudes as they enter into the retreat and to make the most out of this opportunity to bond with Jesus and with one another. This was followed by another skit entitled The Man in the Garbage which illustrated how we tend to collect different types of ‘trash’ in our search for genuine happiness. This skit was further deepened on by Carmela Badajos, another Verbum Dei disciple, who related the events in the skit with her own personal struggles and victories. According to Mela, “there is a hole in the heart of each one that only its Creator can fill”.
The second part of the program kicked off with a game and a dance headed by misioneras, disciples and some youth volunteers from Pasig. Afterwards another skit entitled The Divided Teenager was performed by the Pasig youth. The skit was about the different voices heard by the teenager which also reflects the dilemmas the youth face today. The second talk given by Sister Pearl Rebusit further elaborated on the difficult realities faced by the youth and how to choose Jesus despite all these.
The jam-packed day was culminated by a mass celebrated by Fr. Bong, who in his homily challenged the participants to appreciate God’s love through the people around them, and, in turn, reflect that genuine love to others as well, using the metaphor of the moon reflecting the light of the sun.
How wonderful to be chosen by the Lord and to choose to respond to Him!
Here are some photos of the event:
With thanks to Christel Mendoza and the WordNews team
Life is a constant journey. As the old saying goes, “Difficult roads to beautiful destinations.” Every journey in life begins with a leap of faith.
Just this Sunday, I together with the Verbum Dei Teens and Youth were invited to unfold a journey. It was to have a moment of truth and silence with Jesus through a long walk that will help us realize our individual mission and to reflect on this question, “In this season of lent- where am I invited to walk?”
It was a warm Sunday morning when a total of 14 Teens and Youth accepted the invitation to have a long walk with Jesus. The hike started with the reminder of do’s and don'ts that must be considered since most of the participants were first-timers. Then we were invited to have a meaningful and purposeful walk with Christ.
Everyone was excited to embark on this trip. After we did our stretching, we began. We started walking and following the trail. After a few step, jump and leap, we arrived into a “mini-stop” close to the waterfalls. There we get to be acquainted with a local who sells coconut. We stopped for a while to drink water and to buy some coconut juice. Minutes passed by and everybody was ready for the next miles. As we carry on the next long walks, it was the time in which we need to deal with the steep and stony parts of the hike. Our trail guide, Kuya Andy, had to stretch a helping hand since the rocky part of the trek was astounding. Nevertheless, with everyone’s courage and determination we made it to the next part on the trail.
Under the scorching heat of the sun, we looked for a place where we had our next activity. The activity focused on building camaraderie and recollecting on the purpose that we have for this Lenten season. The game went well and everyone was able to build friendship through actively participating in the games that were provided. After the game, Ate Adree shared beautiful phrases on how essential and important this season of Lent is. We were challenge to think about the invitation that God wants us to discover and to put in action.
As we continued, going up and following the footsteps of our trail guide, the path was stonier and impressive. The higher we go, the more scenic the area gets. So many places were picture-perfect. Along the way we meet new friends who will either lead or block your way. They are the local dogs and cows. They were very friendly. It was already noon when we arrived at the basketball court; we stopped for a bit and had our stomachs ready for lunch. We need to regain our energy back by nourishing our body with food.
Afterward, we had to keep going so that we can cover the next few kilometers that will lead us to the peak. Everyone seemed exhausted and tired but not willing to give up. We were determined to finish the walk and excited to discover our individual realizations. Taking every stride, little did we know that for just a few more cow encounters, uphill road, grassy pavements and cogon tunnels, we were close to the goal.
When we arrived at the peak, everyone appreciated the view. Together, we gathered ourselves and had a group sharing. We didn’t just conquer the peak, but we courageously found peace and acquired the invitation that we were called to, as well.
Indeed, the picturesque view from the peak will never disappoint you. Through the experience, we found beauty in tranquility, as we grasp the invitation for this journey. It was for me to realize that I am not alone; God’s will is there and He will lead the way, accompanied by faith, courage, strength, and hope. With heaven sent companions the journey became lighter and brighter. It was a journey that helped us to look deep within and realize the message that God want us to know. One of the most rewarding things everyone experienced. Truly, I can say, I didn’t just become courageous, I also knew where I am invited to go and found growth with my relationship with the Almighty. What a beautiful and meaningful journey it was.
Here is a short vlog of the event:
Here are some photos from the event:
With thanks to Ena Clavel and the WordNews team
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