Filipino delegate sees 7th Asian Youth Day to enrich faith

By Matters India Reporter

Jakarta: The on-going 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD) in Indonesia is an occasion to enrich each other’s faith, says a delegate from the Philippines.

“It is such a wonderful assembly of over 2000 delegates from 21 countries for the AYD. I am enjoying and learning how Catholics in Indonesia, a Muslim majority country, live their faith in a multi-cultural context,” Nikko Sebastian Delaine, told Matters India.

She is one of the 80-member delegations from the Philippines for AYD. She works a staff member of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for last two years.

“The AYD is an opportunity time to value Catholic faith as God’s gift and celebrate it together with young people of Asia,” said Delaine (21).

“During my days in dioceses and the main event of AYD, I will try to enjoy and find ways to deepen my faith in a best possible manner. It is also a reminder learn new ways to witness the Gospel to others,” she added.

She would carry lasting impressions and invaluable experiences of AYD in her heart to share with others back home in the Philippines.

“Sometimes I may tend to take for granted my faith living in the Philippines, which is Catholic majority country. AYD is a challenge to learn how Catholics live and witness their faith in Indonesia, the world largest Muslim nation,” Delaine said.

Delaine and her companions are divided to stay in local hosting families in Jakarta Archdiocese and other Philippine delegation in Bogor Diocese for their preliminary three-day live-in program beginning July 30.

All the delegates are to spent time in order to experience the local church as part of their pre-event live-in experience or “Days in Dioceses” in local Catholic Families of 11 Archdiocese and dioceses of Indonesia’s 37 dioceses from July 30 to Aug 2.

Then, all delegates will converge for the main event which will take place in Yogyakarta (Central Java), in Semarang Archdiocese, August 2-6 with theme “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!”‎

AYD is a Catholic youth gathering held every three years in Asia. It was initiated by the advisor of Catholic Youth of Asia and approved by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences under the Youth Desk of Laity and Family Office.

Each of the AYDs held since 1999 in intervals of two, three or five years, in various cities of Asia, had a theme. The 7th AYD intends to underscore the need for Asian youth to follow Christ amidst the enormous variety of Asia’s cultural and natural diversity of which Indonesia is a key model.

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