>Dialogue started here must not come to an end.

>

March 27, 2010
9:06PM
Mondo Migliore (A Better World), Rocca di Papa, Rome

Today, Sabine was a flower girl for the 2nd time. She was at the wedding of Wally And Chinky Magtibay. Des and I are Candle Sponsors. Sabine walked with a smile, according to my mom. And she had fun the entire time. She asks where we are, and then says “Roma”. Congratulations, Magtibays! May you be as sturdy as your name implies. I miss my girls 🙂

***

It is the last day of the IYF! Tomorrow we go to the Vatican to celebrate World Youth Day. We will be in our National Costumes, so hopefully it won’t be too cold. Then after the whole celebration tomorrow, we meet up with CFC FFL and go home with them. I miss CFC FFL Rome!

Breakfast was interesting today. We sat with Nigeria, Ghana and UAE. And ended up talking about Soccer. And once you start, it being a World Cup year, it doesn’t stop! It was fun seeing them so passionate about the sport. Lunch was with Scotland, Ireland and Australia. I can’t write about the things we talked about 😉 And dinner was with the Asian Barkada again! This time Japan and Bangladesh joined us. The Latinos are getting together, and so are the Africans, so the Asians are gathering as well. Maybe we should have an Asian Youth Forum? Hmmm… I will propose it tomorrow.

***

The only session (lecture) for today was given by Americans! Yes, ENGLISH! No headsets! And there was a sense of guilty pleasure hearing them talk speedily, and knowing the translators will be having an interesting time coping with the speed. Naughty, naughty.

Steven and Kari Colella (both working with the Diocese of Boston) spoke on “The path of preparation in view of marriage”. Now this was a hands-on, project proposal type of lecture. Where they presented their in-process program for engaged couples. It is called Transformed in Love: Living Your Catholic Marriage. I loved it! Since I have been working with engaged couples, and young couples and all other types, I loved what they presented. I am going to try to get a hold of it (their program) and see how is can be done in the Philippines as well. It was clear, concise, Catholic (!) and wonderful!

There were testimonies after that from a priest from Spain (Leopoldo Vives Soto) and a couple from France (Alex and Maud Lauriot-Prevost). I have to admit that my eyes were so heavy by this time, and I was only getting bits and pieces of their sharing. It was bound to happen after all the heaviness of the topics, the activities, the CARBS!

We had mass celebrated by Monsignour Josef Clemens. Who was with us the entire time! He emceed, and when he wasn’t onstage, he was in the audience listening. What a nice example 🙂

***

We went back to our discussion groups and it was bittersweet. Just when the group was really starting to gel and exchange opinions and ideas, it was the last group time. My group had people from Belgium, Malta, Ghana, USA, Serbia, Hungary, FICEP (who read about Des and I from YouthPinoy), Slovakia, India, Sudan and Moldova. It was a wonderful mixed group of people with such diverse backgrounds and different opinions! I hope we get to keep in touch afterwards.

Cardinal Rylko gave the closing remarks. And he is right to say that we need to keep this dialogue open even when we all go home to our respective places. Because all this cannot just end here. I have learned SO MUCH over the past few days. I know it will take me more days to re-visit everything. Even more days to find a way to transmit all this information. And hopefully get the chance to make the message of the IYF – Learning to Love – known to the youth of the Philippines, and even Asia. What a herculean task, but every one of the 200+ people here are thinking, hoping and yearning for the same chance to spread the message of the weekend.

Watch out world, here we come!

***

Blood orange
Yum
Des singing

PS. Tonight we have the “talent night”. But, as usual, I am being anti-social. 🙂 Des and go and represent us. Haha. The time is going to jump forward tonight, and we have to be up before 6AM. So I am going to get as much sleep as I can get. I won’t doze off tomorrow with Pope Benedict watching me. 🙂

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