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Orionines Launch Year Dedicated to Youth to Rekindle Missionary Spirit in Philippines

‘To live every encounter with others always under the sign of charity’

“To live every encounter with others always under the sign of charity”: this is the message that the charismatic family of Saint Luigi Orione launched on the occasion of the Year of the Orionine youth, which started on June 1 on the theme “Listening, discerning and living the mission”.

“In the Philippines, the year 2019 is dedicated to young people who are the future, but also the present of the Church”, said Fr. Father Martin Mroz, counselor of the Orionine delegation “Mother of the Church in the Philippines, to Fides News Agency. “With their active participation in society and in the life of the Church, they inspire all of us for evangelization and social transformation.”

All the members of the Orionine Congregation have been busy during these months in preparation for this event: “Since March, we have organized a series of formation meetings for young people and laity,” explained Fr. Martin. “The purpose was to invite all the participants to live this journey good-heartedly: to be true protagonists of this time and not spectators.”

One of the three communities of the Saint’s family is in the suburb of Payatas, in Quezon – since 1991: “The first and important community is located in Payatas,” said Fr. Martin, “there is a parish with over 150 thousand people, plus the related social works. Here, in the 14 chapels in which we work, 9 feeding programs are active, that is, places where about 400 undernourished children receive care and a daily meal. There are also two clinics. Not far away, in Montalban, 40 philosophy students, 11 postulants and 14 novices are guests at our house of formation. Some of them also come from India and Kenya. On the same campus – he adds – there is a home for the disabled that accommodates 35 children with mental and physical problems. Finally, in the city of Lucena, there is a work of animation with 4 feeding programs and also a center where children of all ages can come to attend courses in English and computer science.”

The Orionine Family is preparing to celebrate a feast: April 13, 2020, marks the 125th anniversary of the ordination of Don Orione. “When Don Luigi became a priest he was 23 years old – the missionary remembers – and from that moment on he lived in the wonder and joy of charity, always ready to serve the poor. A dream that he wanted to share with other young people.” With this desire, from 1 to 5 July 2020, World Youth Day will take place in Tortona. “As Don Orione said, young people are the sun or the storm of tomorrow. Everything depends on how they are guided.”

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