Quezon City, Philippines. One hundred fifty five youth and members of the Claretian Family of ASCLA East from Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, and the Philippines met in Quezon City Philippines to meet Jesus in the “cloud” last August 3 to 8, 2015 during the 1st ASCLA East Youth Gathering plus Claretian Family or the now commonly known as the 1st AEYG 2015 + CF. Delegates from ASCLA West, namely from Chennai Province and North East India also came to learn and be part of the experience. The Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters also sent members from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, East Timor, Korea, Japan and the Philippines. The Missionary Sisters of St. Anthony Mary Claret also sent participants from Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines. Lay people who are working with the Claretian institutions also joined the gathering making it more meaningful and more fruitful.
The main thrust of the first AEYG, aside from the attempt to strengthen the bond of the Claretian Family of Asia, was to teach the young claretians and claretian family members the proper use and the powerful tool that technology gives in evangelizing today’s generation and in promoting the values of the Kingdom.The theme “Meet Him in the Cloud” based on the text Matthew 17:1-9, the Transfiguration of Jesus whose feast was coincidentally celebrated within the dates of the gathering, connotes that even in the superhighways of technology and in the cloud, we can meet, find, encounter, know, love, serve and praise the Lord.
During the day, the participants underwent a 4-module formation program that made the participants be aware and to hold on and assert their being sons and daughters of God while being a netizen of the seventh continent, the internet. They underwent workshops and prepared videos promoting anti-viruses against the viruses of Christian living, music videos, and posters that will encourage the young people of today to change the way they use the internet, to convert it into a space of God’s love. These workshops were held in the different tourist spots of the City of Manila and Quezon City, giving them a chance to visit the culture and herritage of the capital of the host country. During the evenings, programs like Vocation Night, Cultural Night, Claretian Family Night were held. For the liturgy, each day was dedicated to a particular language. Since there were 13 participant priests, 5 non-participant, and 3 deacons,daily masses were celebrated in English during the Opening Mass celebrated by the Prefect of Apostolate of the Philippines, Fr. Eduardo Apungan, CMF, then in pure Japanese by Fr. Julio Torres, from Mexico on the second day, then Bahasa by Fr. Paul of Indonesia, then both Traditional and Simplified Chinese during the Feast of the Transfiguration by Fr. Xia, a Diocesan Chinese priest from the mainland who joined the Hong Kong delegates, and lastly in Tagalog by Fr. Ancla of the Philippines
On the last day, the delegation heads gathered together for the formulation of the commitment of the youth in Asia. Below was the commitment formulated:
We, the Claretian Youth of ASCLA-East gathered in AEYG + CF commit ourselves to:
– know, love, serve, and adore God;
– break the borders of different cultures and religion through dialogue;
– use responsibly all kinds of Information Technology in enhancing God-given gifts for His glory; and
– live and share creatively the joy of the Gospel to all people
The gathering ended with the presentation of the different videos that the participants prepared, a mini farewell concert till 2 am then the adoration of the Blessed Sacracment from 2 am to 5 am, then the Final Mass celebrated by Fr. Leo Dalmao, CMF, the Provincial of the Philippine Province. At the end of the Eucharist, Fr. Louie Guades III, CMF, the outgoing Regional Youth Coordinator of Asia announced to the assembly the result of the votation, the host for the next gathering. The 2nd AEYG 2017 + CF shall be held in Jojakarta, Indonesia and the participants will participate in the 7th Asian Youth Day that will also be held in Indonesia of the same year.