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Bishop Tells Youth in Philippines: Don’t Let Poverty Destroy Dreams

Testimony of Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian of Bangued

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Being poor should not be a barrier to fulfill one’s dreams and be of service to others, a Catholic bishop said, reported CBCP News.

Speaking to the delegates of the 2nd International YouCat Congress in Iloilo City on November 9, 2019, Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian of Bangued shared his personal vocation story.

Coming from a poor family in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, he admitted experiencing hardship and the fear of not being able to enter college, clinging only to God for hope.

In 1976, he went to work as a full-time sacristan at the Society of the Divine Word’s Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City, hoping to pursue college studies.

But while working at the seminary, the prelate said he was invited to join the SVD community, with the help of a benefactor.

The following year, he entered first-year philosophy as a working student, and eventually became a priest.

After 30 years, he went back to the very altar he used to clean and was ordained a bishop.

“I was telling myself poverty is not a hindrance to fulfill one’s dreams and to be of service,” Jaucian said in a tearful voice.

The bishop, who chairs the Episcopal Commission on Youth, lamented that many young Filipinos lack the opportunity of education and reaching their dreams because of poverty.

But instead of losing hope, he said that poverty should rather encourage young people to strive hard to attain success.

He then called on church institutions and religious communities “to be more sensitive and listen to the yearnings of the young where we can help them”.

“May we always be a Jesus to them, giving all opportunities to each one equally and making them realize giving them opportunities where they can once more see Christ through us,” he said.

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