Considering the youth of today we can’t repudiate the realities that touch the entirety of their person. Many factors have an absolute influence on them as they grow and fit their lives into the world such as their peer group, the community, cultural changes, and their family practices. These do not only affect their views but also their faith in God. Their relationship with God and neighbour are the perceptible consequences on how those components modify their naïve minds.
The youth are both the hope as well as a great challenge for the life of the Church. Youth is an age of increasing spiritual interest and insight, of searching for authentic values and increased responsibility (cf NNCDftPhil 179). I have to agree with this statement as I have personally experienced the tangible unfeigned quests of these young souls. They wonder about life and are eager to discover more and craft conclusions as they face the confrontations of life. They are the young harvests that are so dear to the heart of Christ and of Fr Hannibal. Looking into their friable souls they hunger for an in-depth and intimate care – physically, emotionally and even more so, spiritually.
Being in the teaching apostolate, I am placed in an environment where I can see how the young, spirited and adventurous flock of God needs a sister, a friend and even a mother who will hold out for a lengthy time and with great patience with their demands. Incredibly, this distinct mission allows me to put into the depth the Gospel message when Jesus said to his disciples “let the children come to me”. Day by day I try to introduce them to the beauty of life with Christ as their ultimate companion and friend. Encouraging them to hold on to their faith as they face the imperfections of life set before them, guiding them to make choices in life wisely and reminding them of their responsibilities as students and as Christians are actually a piece of this great divine mission and in the interests of Christ’s heart. I teach but I am actually taught by them and most of all by Christ who leads me to be more humble before Him in this apostolate.
Tending the young flock of God enables me to re-evaluate my life as a Daughter of Divine Zeal. Sharing my being I keep on asking Jesus in the Sacrament to give me enough grace to serve Him and love Him all the more through these souls – the joy of His heart. The young PAISians (students of the Padre Annibale Integrated School in the Philippines) are the future of the Church who will carry out the mission of Christ and the harvest as well as the labourers themselves who will propagate Rogate in their time. To be a witness of God’s word and of faith day after day, the faith that is not an illusion nor a mere sentiment but a transforming grace from heaven. This I continually pray on my knees, at His feet.
Mother Nazarena, a teacher and mother, is the person with whom I always hold on to this apostolate, though teaching is really my passion. I consider her as my consultant and adviser because she is not only a teacher who lived a saintly life but also a faithful daughter of St Annibale, a Divine zeal with the heart of a mother, a friend and a sister to the young flock of God.
When the school year is over and this humble work is entrusted into the hands of God, I recognise all my limitations and flaws. Yet, I am grateful to God as always for the immense blessings on my journey. He has called me and used me in His kingdom and here, I, unworthy of my strength, answer Him: “Send O Lord, Holy apostles into your Church! And, Lord, send me!”
Sr M Glenda D Galanido, fdz