Inter-religious dialogue among discussions in youth fest

The topic, at the forefront of spirituality in a multi-religious country, is among the 13 tracks that will be discussed in the annual youth gathering of Catholic youth from at least 95 dioceses, prelatures and youth organizations nationwide.


The track's teaser said: "Inspires the youth to go beyond the barriers of cultures, prejudices, races, and religions."


The five-day event, patterned after the Pope John Paul II-inspired World Youth Day, will run from Nov. 8 to 12.


The Archdiocese of Davao said it is an all systems go for the event under the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.


It will be the first time the NYD is to be held in Mindanao since it was organized as a national event in 1998.


Around 6,000 participants from 95 dioceses, prelatures and youth organizations around the country have pre-registered as of Nov. 7. Earlier, organizers projected participants to be around 10,000 and expected a shortage of foster families who will house the participants.


"Now we have overflowing foster homes more than the number of participants," said Cheryl Vilog, who coordinates for the NYD media affairs.


Among the highlights of the annual gathering include welcome celebrations and offering of Masses, prayers, tracks and conferences, sharing sessions, fellowships, pilgrimages and socials.


Participants from Luzon have started arriving over the weekend. Registration of the participants would be held in the respective parishes that will host them.


Foster families from Davao's 19 parishes or diocese sub-units will accommodate the participants in the former’s residences.


There will be three groups of participants who will go to three different catechetical sites for the daily activities. Simultaneous activities will be held in the three catechetical sites in University of Immaculate Conception (UIC) in Bajada, Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) and the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).


All participants will converge at the central venue in Infant Jesus of Prague Shrine Hills in Matina for the closing activities on Nov. 11.


Security officials in Davao City have assured the safety of the participants with measures already in place, organizers told MindaNews.


The other tracks or formation seminars to be given in the NYD include: Youth in the Culture of Absence, Music Ministry, A call to Holiness, Pro-Life, Servant Leadership, Christian Sexuality, Youth Ministry, Corruption, Child in the Media, Youth in the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC), Justice, and Peace and Integrity of Creation, and Creative Gospel Sharing.