Cebu City – A Roman Catholic prelate has told some 12,000 participants of the ongoing National Youth Day (NYD) to turn up at the polling centers on May 13 and use the power in their hands to make meaningful change.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos Diocese in Negros said the young voters have the number, power, health, and energy than most of the older voting population. A third of the country’s registered voters are young people.
“You can sway the votes if you want to, if you get organized and be clear about your stand,” Alminaza said in his homily during Mass at San Carlos Seminary.
It is hoped, Alminaza said, the gathering will transform the participants with “sense of passion and urgency to make a difference.”
This year’s NYD, the largest gathering of young Roman Catholics in the country, was held here. It started April 24 and ends on April 28.
“We need to undo, in as much as we can still undo it, whatever we have allowed to wreck havoc in our universe,” Alminaza said.
“We have to do something and we have the opportunity to do it. I hope you will rise up to the occasion,” he said.
The bishop on April 22, which is also the Earth Day, led some 7,000 church people and the youth in forming a “human chain” to push for a coal-free Negros Island.
The human chain stretched for 229 kilometers from Manapla, Negros Occidental to La Libertad in Negros Oriental, or the parishes under the San Carlos diocese.
“I hope we will leave this NYD with a sense of passion and urgency to make a difference, to change the world around us and start to care for the mother earth,” he said. (jm)
In the photo: National Youth Day (NYD) pilgrims queue to venerate the blood relic of Saint John Paul II in Consolacion, Cebu April 25. ELMARC LIM