Priest lauds youth who ‘have courage to listen to God’s call’

Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban

In a Mass for children before a “parade of saints” on Oct. 28 at St. Joseph Parish, Gagalangin in this city, a priest lauded the young people present who are taking a concrete step to listen to God’s personal call to them.

CBCP Episcopal executive secretary Fr. Conegundo B. Garganta lauded such parish initiatives for children. “The youth here are presented with a very good option, which is to have the courage to listen to call of Christ like the saints.”

The priest also noted how such events affect the formation of the youth. He stressed that, “The saints in their lives allowed God to be part of their personal history”.

He added: “By knowing the saint each child represents, they discover how their choices deepen their relationship with God and with the rest of the believing community.”

According to many, such different Halloween celebrations provide an alternative to the Western “scary” or “spooky” Halloween celebrations, restoring the significance of the Nov. 1-2 celebration, which is to commemorate the saints in heaven and to pray for souls in purgatory.

Addressing parents, Garganta said, “By allowing children to dress like the saints, they are taught how God teaches the people he calls to be good and obedient.” He ended his reflection, saying: “Truly, by keeping with God’s call, everyday for these children can be a parade of saints”.

Many parishes across the country, particularly in Manila and nearby provinces, organized “parades of saints,” which featured children dressed as famous holy men and women like Saints Therese of the Child Jesus, San Pedro Calungsod, St. John Paul II, among others.