At 46, Bishop Mylo Vergara is the youngest bishop in the Philippines. He came to Toronto from the Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija -- which is 160 kilometres north of Manila and has 21 parishes -- to talk to the 530 young people at the OCY Celebration of Youth Banquet last night. OCY stands for
, a ministry to support and advocate for youth ministry in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Three years ago, OCY started giving a cultural theme to each banquet – in past years it was Indian, African, and now, Filipino. Many young men and women dressed in colourful traditional Filipino attire. And Bishop Vergara’s keynote address focused on the Filipino spirituality. Who is the Filipino Catholic? A person who is family-oriented, meal-oriented (it’s really not so much about food but about relationships), kundiman-oriented (loving singing and music), bayani-oriented (giving or sacrificing for the other), among other things. I really appreciate my Filipino culture much more after last night.
It was also announced that next year, the cultural theme will be Polish, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the passing of Pope John Paul II.