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3 youth ministers immerse in Taizé community in France
MANILA—Three Filipino youth ministers from selected youth commissions/ministries in the country were chosen and endorsed by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth to immerse with the Taizé community in France for three months.
Gabriel Abraham Puliran from the Diocese of Iligan, Shiela May Calixto from the Prelature of Isabela de Basilan and Runualdo Villamater from the Diocese of Lucena were recommended by their respective bishops and chosen by the youth commission to go to France for the three-month immersion in the Taizé community.
Shiela Calixto, one of the three ministers, said they are very excited to go to Taize and experience the unity among Christians, Protestants and other religions who are united in one cause, prayer and meditation.
Calixto said she expects to feel the ecumenism in the Taizé community which is similar to her hometown.
“[I expect to experience] the ecumenism in the community where everybody is equal and prays to God silently; it is like in Basilan [where] Christians and Muslims are united [and find] time to pray together as one community,” Calixto said.
When asked about how they will apply the learning and experience in France after their three-month stay, the youth ministers said they hope that with renewed faith they will be more dedicated in serving the youth ministry and the Church for long years to come.
“I will be establishing youth fellowships when I’m back from France. That’s what I will do first when I return in our diocese,” Gabriel Puliran said.
Runualdo Villamater, for his part, said he will update his diocese on what he will learn in the Taizé community during his stay in France.
Meanwhile, Calixto hopes to be more renewed in faith and to extend her time in the youth ministry.
“When I return to the prelature, I will be serving the youth more and tell them that there are lots of opportunity for youth ministers here in the country. Those opportunities are not limited in the local Church only but internationally where we can share our own culture outside the boundaries of our prelature and the country,” she said.
The youth ministers will be leaving the country on June 8 and will stay in France until September 4. They are the first batch to attend the program for this year, with another batch leaving in November.
ECY annually send two batches of youth ministers to Taize to experience silence and prayer that characterize the Taize way of life.
The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et Loire, Burgundy, France. It has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. (Jandel Posion)