Holy Childhood for World Mission Day

In celebration of the World Mission Day, the Caceres Commission on Missions organized a Children's Congress for Holy Childhood last October 23, 2011 (Sunday). Held at the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia, the Congress started with an animation followed by a mass at nine o'clock in the morning, celebrated by Rev. Fr. Rex Hidalgo, Director of the Caceres Youth Ministry.

After, the children shared with each other the symbols they drew that aptly represent themselves, first in their own respective groups then 25 children were chosen to relay to everyone what has been shared in the small group discussion. In the afternoon, the children bonded through several games such as marble relays and the famous amazing race.

At three o'clock, the children prayed the rosary and a concluding prayer capped the vibrant event. 

Meanwhile at the Vatican, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, shared his message with the people of God. First, he relayed once more the words of Blessed John Paul II as thus, "Bearing the Gospel to everyone is the invitation that resonates each year as we come to celebrate the World Mission Day.

Continuous proclamation of the Gospel invigorates the Church, her fervor and her apostolic spirit. It renews her pastoral methods so that they may be ever better suited to new situations. The missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others." 

He likened the missionary zeal to the experience of the two disciples at Emmaus. "All those who have encountered the Risen Lord have felt the need to proclaim the news of it to others." The call to bear the Good News has always been echoed in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and is a calling for all. The Church has always been called to evangelize. "After 2000 years, there are still people who do not know Christ and some have forgotten or abandoned the message. A cultural change nourished by globalization, by currents of thought and by the prevalent relativism, is taking place. This change is leading to a mindset and lifestyle that ignores the Gospel Message, as though God did not exist, and exalt the quest for well-being, easy earnings, a career and success as life's purpose, even to the detriment of moral values." 

Evangelization, therefore, according to Pope Benedict XVI, "has lost none of its urgency". The theme of the occasion, "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you", further strengthens the fact that "the Gospel is not an exclusive possession of whoever has received it but rather, a gift to share." Thus, it is in this manner, that the Children's Congress was organized, not only to educate the children but also to bring them closer to God. 

The said activity has been planned under the supervision of Rev. Fr. Andrew Recepcion, Director of the Caceres Commission on Missions, and was facilitated by Seminarians both from the Holy Rosary Minor and Major Seminaries. In addition, it was attended by a total of 511 participants coming from the different Schools in Camarines Sur and various Parishes in the Archdiocese of Caceres.