FI National Assembly Day 4 (January 31, 2019)

"From Social Apostolate to Ecological Stewardship"

The day starts with the Holy Eucharist on the feast of St. John Bosco who said, " The youth are the hope of the Church." Fr. Clyde Salitrero, O. Carm., in his homily, underscores the three important qualities the youth need to develop and possess such as Courage, Humility, and Christ - centeredness.

He stresses on the need to be courageous to be honest in doing the right thing even when one is alone, or even when no one is looking. He also points out the need to be humble as exemplified by St. Candida Maria de Jesus when she obeyed God's will to found a congregation despite her being unlettered. Lastly, Fr. Clyde gives premium on Christ-centeredness as the most important quality on which other Christian virtues are founded.

The participants' awareness on Social Apostolate is heightened by Sr. Georgita P. Hormillosa, FI who clarifies the difference between social action and social apostolate. She states that there are three forms of justice namely, commutative, distributive, and social. Of the three, social justice is the most difficult because it demands inquiry into the context of every individual in order to appropriately respond to the unique needs of each person. She explains the dynamics of social apostolate which involves four steps such as to see and know the reality, reflect on the experience, feel the reality, and act. Social action done to restore human dignity with justice and compassion becomes a genuine social apostolate.

In response to Pope Francis's second encyclical, Laudato Si, the participants are challenged to take an active role in caring for our common home, Mother Earth. Miss Liza Dicdican's sharing on her close encounters with whale sharks, dolphins, and other sea creatures inspires the participants to become responsible stewards by being accountable of their actions and to collaborate with other people in responding to the call to preserve the environment. She assures the youth that there is hope when all the people of the world take a swift and unified global action to address environmental degradation and global warming.

The activity on Spoken Words provides a venue for the participants to express their feelings, realizations, and plans of action to preserve the environment. The participants' God - given gifts and talents are shared and celebrated as each school presents an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play such as intonation and voice inflection.

The day ends with the youth embracing the truth that they are gifted, loved, and empowered in doing the right thing making the world a better place to live in.